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Last Updated: Tuesday, 18 July 2006, 15:05 GMT 16:05 UK
Brick Lane 'fury' over film plans
Monica Ali
Monica Ali won widespread acclaim for Brick Lane
People living and working in an area of east London are unhappy at plans to film the adaptation of Monica Ali's book, Brick Lane, in the area.

They claim the book is "insulting" towards the predominately Bangladeshi community of Brick Lane, Shoreditch.

The book about a Bangladeshi woman sent to London for an arranged marriage is being adapted by Ruby Films.

Mahmoud Roug, chairman of the Brick Lane Business Association, said the community hoped to prevent filming.

He said public meetings had been held and the action taken would depend on what the community wanted.

'No right'

"The book is a good work of literature, but is insulting to the community," said Mr Roug.

"Monica Ali does not belong to the community. She has written a book that is just guesswork.

"People are disgusted about the film, and while the authorities have given permission for it to be filmed here, it does not mean they have permission from the community.

"We will do what the community wants us to do. We are not going to leave it as it is.

"They have no right to do it [film] in Brick Lane."

Book prize

In a statement, Ruby Films said: "Throughout the production process of Brick Lane we have maintained constant contact with members of the local community, some of whom are involved in the film as both consultants and crew.

"When there is a finished product to watch, we will be happy to open a dialogue with anybody who has concerns regarding the film that they have seen."

The local council, Tower Hamlets, said it would be happy to listen to people's concerns about the film, adding that it had little control over filming on non-council property.

It added: "Generally speaking, we try to encourage filming as its both generates income and helps to put the borough on the map."

Brick Lane, which was Ali's debut novel, was shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize.

In December 2003 Bangladeshi community leaders from The Greater Sylhet Development and Welfare Council - which represents Bangladeshis in the UK - called the book a "despicable insult".

At the time, Random House said the company did not believe the book's views were offensive.

Watch why local Bangladeshis are angry about the film

Author Ali on women's prize list
15 Mar 04 |  Entertainment
Ali nominated for US book prize
20 Jan 04 |  Entertainment
Ali's Brick Lane upsets community
03 Dec 03 |  Entertainment
Ali's 'refreshingly' simple tale
17 Sep 03 |  Entertainment


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