Irish Film Institute -HANDS UP


Director: Romain Goupil

France • 2010 • 90 minutes

Although it takes a more subtle approach to the contentious issue of immigration than Illegal (also showing in this year’s programme), Hands Up is no less certain in its condemnation of current policies. Milana is an eleven-year-old Chechen girl living illegally in Paris with her family. When one of her group of friends is deported, the others rally round to protect Milana from the same fate. Told from the children’s point of view (the young cast are uniformly excellent), the film never loses sight of the issue at its core, as evidenced by a framing device that questions how history will remember these policies, and a likening of the children’s defiant actions to those of previous generations of young activists.

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