top of page

Andrea Levy

Her Island Story

A 75 min imagine... film for BBC One, 2018
Oxford Films

This documentary was filmed shortly before Andrea Levy passed away in February 2019. It follows the story of how her parents had travelled from Jamaica to Britain in the late 1940s - her father a passenger on the famous HMT Windrush, his face visible in contemporary newsreel - a journey which influenced her celebrated novel Small Island

The film charts Andrea's development towards becoming a writer, her own self-recrimination when her lighter skin colour enabled her to pass as both black and white, her early experiences of racism while working in the costume department at the BBC, and her memories of travelling to Jamaica for the first time as a young woman. The broadcast of the film coincided with the BBC One drama adaption of her final novel The Long Song, a tale of slavery in the nineteenth century Jamaican plantations. After writing the book, Andrea discovered some unexpected information about her family history which mirrored the novel's narrative.

"What was best about this imagine…, however, was that it didn’t settle for merely establishing Levy’s position as an author of worth: it also tried to show you what she is like." The Telegraph

bottom of page