Protests in London Halt Filming of Monica Ali's Novel Adaptation


Production of the movie based on Monica Ali's debut novel Brick Lane, published by Scribner in 2003, was halted on July 26 after protesters threatened to blockade London streets where scenes were scheduled to be filmed. The Ruby Films production company, along with Film Four, which helping to finance the adaptation of Ali's novel, announced that they would film the remaining scenes at other locations.

The announcement came after a small group of activists launched the Campaign Against Monica Ali's Film Brick Lane to protest the adaptation of the book, which they believe furthers stereotypes of Sylhetis—inhabitants of Sylhet in the northeastern part of Bangladesh. Sylhetis also make up about 95 percent of Britain's Bangladeshi community. The leader of the campaign, Abdus Salique, threatened to burn the novel at a rally scheduled for Sunday in London.

Shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize, Brick Lane explores the British immigrant experience through the story of a Bangladeshi family living in the U.K.

Lane's second novel, Alentejo Blue, was published by Scribner last month.