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28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 12 March 2013
'Last Resort' is a charming film but is only available in the UK at a vastly inflated price. The Italian version is available at the normal price for a DVD. The Italian DVD appeared to include the full English version but this has Italian sub-titles and as there is some dialogue in Russian this also has Italian sub-titles! I assume the English version has English sub-titles for the Russian dialogue. It is still a charming film and would have been more highly rated but for the above problem. I couldn't fault the Italian supplier.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 8 January 2006
Fantastically shot.Brilliantly acted.This a beautiful film.Essentialy a romance, set in a depressing seaside village, between an amusment arcade manager and a russian, who accomponied with her 10 year old son he befriends and helps to escape home, after she has been sent to an asylum seekers holding area."It makes me wanna cry".OUTSTANDING.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Although it is definitely a drama this film blurs the boundaries between documentary and fiction, apparently a characteristic of Pawlikowski's direction.

Tanya (Dina Korzun) travels to England from Russia with her 10 year old son Artyom (Strelnikov) to marry her Fiancée who doesn't turn up and leaves her stranded and forced to become a refugee.

In the first part of the film we get right inside Tanya's fears and sense of alienation as she struggles with her role as a confined refugee, this is beautifully acted by Korzun and Strelnikov and if the film had continued on this course it would have been superb.

However once Anya is befriended by Alfie (a fine performance by Considine) the drama degenerates into a standard pulp fiction love story and although well directed and acted moves away from the trauma of being an asylum seeker. Also Artyom is supposed to be 10 years old but his dialogue is far to old for his age, even a perceptive ten year old would not automatically recognise someone as a pimp when his mother apparently did not make the connection.

However this film certainly made me think about the experiences of asylum seekers and the way they can be exploited whilst within the system, their sense of despair when any resolution to their problems is six to eighteen months away, unfortunately it did not keep me thinking long and hard enough.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
The film actually reveals more about we British than it does the plight of those seeking asylum. The decline of the British seaside town, amusement arcades, 1960s tower blocks, fish & chips, the wooden roller coaster - for me one of the stars of this film was Margate itself. Beautifully photographed and acted, this is a gem. The film oozes mood. See it.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 21 September 2011
This is a great example of British film-making at its very best (i.e. a la Loach, Leigh, Meadows, etc) and is Paddy Considine's first film I believe. It simply outclasses 99% of Hollywood fare. All three lead actors are superb, and the film captures the atmosphere of frustration of being an asylum-seeker beautifully (and unsentimentally). Of course Considine has gone on to make great films for Shane Meadows and one or two slightly dodgy Hollywood efforts. Absolutely essential viewing.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is a film which gives a human face to the issue of immigration, an issue which is often dealt with prejudice and incorrect assumptions thanks to the disproportionate amount of negative press it receives from the right-wing media.

Paddy Considine is brilliant as the amusement arcade manager who befriends Russian immigrant Tanya and her son after recognising her plight. She arrives in the U.K expecting to be greeted by her fiancé, however he's a no-show and she is stranded in an immigration centre at the mercy of lengthy timelines before her case is heard.

Last Resort doesn't shy away from the issue of immigration and tackles the false assumptions head-on without making it obvious. Asylum seekers aren't living a life of luxury in swanky B&Bs as the papers would have many believe, they make do with the vouchers they are issued and are constantly exploited by those around them who lure in the desperate. As the asylum seekers have no work permits, any work they do is 'unofficial' and they are effectively invisible, allowing their 'employers' to treat them as poorly as they can. Women are at risk from the sex trade and Pawlikowski shows us how easy it is to end up down that ugly path whilst thankfully sparing us from the finer details of the darker side.

This is an eye-opening film and the grim surroundings have been chosen well to depict the abject depressiveness of the situation. The seaside town of Stonehaven (actually filmed in Margate) is little more than a prison for the population of asylum seekers, but in amongst the downbeat footsteps of those who have little to amuse themselves there is a flare of character from the streetwise Alfie (Considine) and it's enough to cheer up the lives of two people far from home.

In a nutshell: The film may be socially enlightening to many but the political side of the film isn't forced, the main focus of the film is the relationship between a man who befriends an asylum seeker and her son. This is an antidote to the Daily Mail, it turns the fiction of newspaper spin into a touching film which is engaging on a human level and will perhaps enable some people to revise their point of view on the subject and remember that people are people - even those that "sound a bit foreign!"
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 10 February 2002
Last Resort is a very well thought of film. It is about a mother and child from Russia who become "accidental refugees" in England. They are taken to a refugee camp where they come across a man who helps them and eventually falls in love with the mother. A very touching and moving film, almost made me cry! Sheer Brilliance.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Yes, this is a great film. Again, one of those silent, emotion focussed world cinema films that shows just one way in which we live...
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