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Cécile De France
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This tale of illegal migrants is masterfully told as a straight story of events along the road to Paris. In order to illustrate many facets of the illegal immigrant saga, the writers have gone out of their way to include many more events, mishaps, and adventures that could credibly happen to a single migrant. Some people may object to this, but it serves to make this a more universal picture of events that can overtake an exile.
The emphasis of the story-telling is not a political or social statement, it's a strikingly enjoyable film with excellent cinematography which nevertheless manages to raise many serious issues. It's a story of human adaptation to loss of home and lack of normal human contact.
The protagonist says little because he can hardly speak French or English. Language throughout the film is not very important as a result. The audience, like migrants themselves, sits through episodes in Arabic, Greek, French, German, and English.
Along this rootless journey, he strikes up relationships ambiguous relationships along the road, mainly warm and yet fleeting - particularly the toy-boy episode at the start. There are many little subtle moments in the film, each making powerful comments about human moral choices under duress.
Combining suspense, drama, and subtly thought provoking episodes, this is another lasting film from Costa Gavras.
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