Wednesday, August 31, 2011


Speaking of drawing on sympathy for illegal aliens (see my review of Welcome here), who can wish for a political refugee, who only wants a safe place to raise her teenage son, to be deported?  In Illegal, Tania, a Russian, lives in Belgium with her son.  Randomly stopped on the street without proper ID, she winds up in a detention center, stuck in the bureaucracy and frustration of separation from her son and appealing to be granted asylum.
In an almost documentary format, Tania experiences and witnesses the abuse and confusion of immigrants in Belgium.  Countries have a right to secure their borders, but they have an obligation to treat all within their borders humanely.  Activists who would point to films like Illegal and Welcome for examples of the plight of refugees refuse to acknowledge the need for border while focusing on examples of abuse.  But I guess that wouldn't make as good a story.

Illegal is well-made, emotionally stirring, but wholly inadequate for a debate on immigration.

Bottom line, 2 stars.

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