Dirty Pretty Things is a 2003 film directed by Stephen Frears and written by Steven Knight about an illegal Nigerian immigrant and doctor, Okwe, in London running from his past, who becomes involved with the underground organ business after meeting another immigrant named Senay. A cab driver by day and hotel receptionist by night, Okwe was a doctor in Nigeria before being forced to flee after being falsely accused of murdering his wife. The film was critically acclaimed for its cinematography, well-paced plot, and how it illuminated the exploitation illegal immigrants undergo.
Okwe leads a dangerous double life as an illegal immigrant, constantly on the lookout for the immigration police. However, he does not expect to find trouble in the manager of his hotel, Juan, who secretly runs an operation where immigrants swap one of their kidneys for a forged passport. After Senay, the woman whose couch he sleeps on, is accosted by the immigration officials, Okwe is forced to perform kidney surgery on her to save her from the advances of Juan, who sexually assaulted and exploited her. After Juan gives Senay and Okwe passports, they drug and remove his kidney in an ironic act of resolution, and go their separate ways- Okwe back to Nigeria for his young daughter, and Senay to New York City to start an entirely new life. The last shot of the movie captures their mouthed words of "I love you" before they part ways.
The film demonstrates the harsh brutality of a life as an illegal immigrant, the characters Okwe and Senay representing the hundreds, thousands of illegal immigrants who are exploited and abused in modern day society. The diverse cast of characters from various ethnicities reveals the verity of the experiences portrayed. The film's tone ranges from psychological, to thriller, and even unlikely love story.
Dirty Pretty Things was extremely well-received at both the box office and critics' reviews, with Chiwetel Ejiofor, the actor playing Okwe, winnng the 2003 British Independent Film Award for Best Actor. As well, the film itself also won a "Best Independent British Film" in 2003. Dirty Little Things is today considered an indie classic.