Most helpful positive review
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The best media representation of asylum seekers yet
on 15 June 2001
The Last Resort (2000) is directed by Polish-born Pawel Pavilowski and commissioned by the BBC. Filmed in Margate (fictionally called Stonehaven) charts the experiences of a Russian refugee Tanya and her son Artyom. From Heathrow they are transferred to Stonehaven, a fictional holding bay for asylum seekers. They make many failed attempts to head for London for Tanya to meet her supposed fiance and instead Tanya falls in love with a local amusement park businessman (whose name actually escapes me). In a desperate bid to financially support herself, she turns to local pornographer (again his name escapes me), who is excellently played by real life pornographer Ben Dover.
The film is more constructed as a love story than a political statement, but that's not to say the film is politics free. It is associated with the current hysteria over asylum and immigration, and the use of juddery camera work and it's bleak mise-en-scene makes it socially real experience.
the back-up cast are played by real-life asylum seekers and refugees of mainly Kosovan or Afghan dissent, again social realism comes through the documentarism. Also the presence of the asylum seekers is symbolised by Tanya being demonstrated on how to use a payphone.
The film generally is a wonderful experience and a real cinematic experience. The film is more plot led and in the end you feel sympathetic towards her plight.
If there is one film that the Tory party and Labour party would not recommend, then Last Resort is the film. Best art-house film this year.