In far too many instances, the current family migration laws in the United Kingdom are working to keep spouses apart from one another, and denying the children of these marriages from one of their parents. This crisis serves as the foundation for The Price of Love, an emotionally devastating documentary short which places an all too human face on misguided public policy.
The UK laws regarding spousal immigration were revised and passed with great controversy in 2012. These revisions stipulated that British citizens needed to earn a minimum income of 18,600 pounds annually before their non-resident spouses could live with them in their home country. Why? The government argued that these restrictions were put in place to prevent a drain on the country's economy and an injustice to its taxpayers. But in truth, the law has imparted grave financial burdens on many struggling families, and has also served as a major deterrent to the sanctity and security of the modern family unit.
Just ask Alison Tanik. She lived in Turkey with her husband and two children when her mother was struck ill back home in the UK. Alison returned home with her children to be by her mother's side with the intention of only staying a few weeks. The rise of ISIS soon resulted in unforeseen difficulties in gaining entry in or out of Turkey, and the restrictions set forth by the British government concerning spousal immigration further complicated the issue. Now, her two children must live without a father, with the exception of the occasional few minutes they spend with him on Skype.
The UK component of Alison's plight is not an uncommon experience, as evidenced by the host of weary interview subjects who populate the remainder of the film. They are frightened of what may become of their future, and resentful that the place of their citizenship no longer represents a safe harbor for them and their families.
In the end, the justified opposition to the law whittles down to one essential theme, which is trumpeted by a protester during an activist's rally depicted early in the film. "Family life is a right," the protester's sign reads, "not a privilege."