Customer Review

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "This city, it's like punishment for me...", 19 Oct 2009
This review is from: Last Resort [DVD][2000] [2001] (DVD)
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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4.6 out of 5 stars (9 customer reviews)
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