Irish Film Institute -ILLEGAL


Director: Olivier Masset-Depasse

Belgium-Luxembourg-France • 2010 • 90 minutes

Illegal is a remarkable film, both a cry of rage at the injustice of a bureaucratic system and a heartfelt plea for compassion for those caught in its machinations. Tania, a Russian woman living illegally in Belgium with her son, has already gone to extraordinary lengths to avoid the attention of the authorities in fear of deportation. Reluctantly letting her guard down on a single occasion leads to her placement in a detention centre while the process of repatriation begins. Despite encountering tragedy in these claustrophobic environs, Tania is determined to remain in Belgium, and to see her son again. Centred on a fearless performance by Anne Coesens, Illegal offers no easy solutions, and only tentative glimmers of hope, but remains a film of genuine power and resonance.

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