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Tania, a young Russian woman who lives illegally in Belgium with her 13-year-old son Ivan. Constantly on her guard, she dreads police checks until the day she is arrested. Mother and son are separated and Tania is placed in a detention center. She will do anything to be reunited with her son but won't manage to avoid threats of deportation. Written by
The film starts as a young Russian mother is telling her kid to speak French instead of Russian. The reason for this is the fact that she's afraid to be spotted, to be found by the people that want to deport her. She is after all living here (in this case somewhere in the French speaking part of Belgium) illegally. She has requested political asylum but has been denied and is to be deported. The laws are easy. The real implementation of them however is not.
And so starts a film about one of the darker pages of the Western world. Seen from the eyes of a political stowaway that only wants a safe haven for her kid and herself this film shows the fear of the fugitive, makes it so that it can be felt, and plays around her constant battle against a rigid system.
The way the scenes are put together make it lifelike, the way it is acted makes it believable. The way events are displayed in the news almost makes it feel like a documentary. The way things are in the real world outside makes one wonder how far from the truth the film is.
The film leaves a vile taste in the mouth that will stick around for some time after leaving the cinema, an impression that might be permanent. An effect that is gained through the combination of realistic behaviour, excellent acting and compelling story. All in all, a true work of art.
10 out of 10, nothing to be added.
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