Wilson, a black man in his late fifties, has been living as a refugee in Hungary for years. He works as a security guard in Budapest and his main desire is to acquire Hungarian citizenship,...
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Wilson, a black man in his late fifties, has been living as a refugee in Hungary for years. He works as a security guard in Budapest and his main desire is to acquire Hungarian citizenship, but he keeps failing the exams that are required for his application. In preparing for the next exam, he is helped by Mari, a Hungarian woman of roughly the same age who is a history teacher. Unexpectedly the teacher and her pupil start to develop deep affection towards each other.Written by
Film director, Roland Vranik, started to work on this movie way before the summer of 2015, but it became very relevant after the refugee crisis. Vranik wanted to show the Kafkaesque world of Hungarian bureaucracy through the eyes of a refugee, but he choose to alter the story after the big headlines. The movie follows Wilson, a security guard who is applying for Hungarian citizenship and trying to build a new life here. He falls in love with his teacher and helps another refugee, the Iranian Shirin, to get a legal status. However, the officers are unconcerned and rigid.
The Citizen tells a very important story and draws a portrait of who is a good citizen. This is not a movie about immigration, but about the contradicting relationship between the individual and the state. Beneath the surface, Wilson is struggling with the same problems as we do, so we can easily relate to him. Thus, the personal viewpoint avoids stereotypes and offers a natural sympathy between Wilson and the viewer. Vranik made a wise decision choosing an amateur for the main role. Dr. Cake-Baly Marcelo, who came from Bissau-Guinea more than forty years ago, is a perfect match to guide us through this labyrinthine and often cruel process.
In the movie, Wilson does not meet directly with xenophobia or racism, but rather with the reality that the immigration process is just not working. Although he is the employee of the month, finds love and has many friends, he decides to leave and start a life somewhere else. The message is clear, the system does not help, but estranges us; we are either immigrants or locals. The Citizen is a realistic, elegant, warm-hearted and bitter movie, a very emphatic and moderate voice in the hysterical cacophony.
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