Private Project

Nightshift Spitalfields

In this 10-minute documentary, Ali, a Bulgarian-Turkish porter at the night market, works six nights a week, often on 15-hour shift, loading and transporting goods. These nightshifts are incredibly demanding, mentally, emotionally and physically. Many workers have families, but it’s almost impossible to have a proper family life when on graveyard shift duty, six nights per week. They can’t take proper part in society, they can’t organise to improve their conditions – they are just exhausted and worn down.These night workers are an invisible group of people who keep the city running with their labour. Those of us who sleep at night have no idea that they even exist, but without them, the supermarket shelves would be empty in the morning.

That’s bad for them and likely even worse for London, which relies heavily on their labour to function as an urban metropolis.

  • Julius-Cezar MacQuarie
    Invisible Lives, Nocturnal Lives
  • Julius-Cezar MacQuarie
    Invisible Lives, Nocturnal Lives
  • Tim Marrinan
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Short, Other
  • Genres:
    Ethnographic Drama, Short Documentary, Film
  • Runtime:
    10 minutes 25 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    February 19, 2020
  • Production Budget:
    5,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Language:
    English, Turkish
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • Workers Unite Film Festival
    New York
    United States
    July 25, 2020
    North American Premiere
    Official Selection
  • Migrant Voice
    United Kingdom
    February 19, 2020
    Migrant Voice
  • Workers Unite Film Festival Eventive
    New York
    United States
    October 18, 2020
    Eventive Virtual
    Audience Favourite
  • Global Indie Film Festival
    Glasgow, Scotland
    United Kingdom
    November 14, 2020
Distribution Information
  • Nightworkshop
    Country: United Kingdom
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Julius-Cezar MacQuarie

Dr. Julius-Cezar MacQuarie is a filmmaker and an anthropologist trained at Central European University, concerned with the invisibility of migrant nightshift workers from discussions on today's capitalism. He founded the Nightworkshop to research night work in global and smaller cities.

@tweetsfromdrjc | @anightworksop

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

Nightworkshop is a project set up to research migrant night workers in cities. It uses mixed-methods that aim to make visible the hidden lives of night workers. The short films, photo collections and podcasts zoom into aspects specific to lives spent in physical labour at night. The mixed methods bring to light the exhaustion, vulnerability and the hidden nature of night work by building a bridge between the researcher, the protagonists and the audience.