Illegal Chinese immigrant Ying is dependent upon Gao, brutal leader of the Snakehead gang, who sends her onto the streets of Brixton selling fake DVDs and fenced accessories. When she fails to earn enough to pay him her keep he rapes her in his car but, following a police raid on illegal immigrants, Ying flees. She finds sanctuary with Jamal, a kindly, divorced barber and stays with him in return for doing his cleaning. Whilst Ying is out Gao's thugs force their way into the barber shop, trashing it and assaulting Jamal. When Ying returns Jamal plans for them to go away together for a new life but, seeing herself as a liability, she leaves without him and goes to her aunt's house instead.
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