- Illegal, Olivier MASSET-DEPASSE, Belgium-Luxembourg-France, 2010, 90 min, documentaire
Tania, a Russian illegal immigrant, has been living in Belgium for eight years with her 13-year-old son Ivan. Quietly integrated, they live in constant fear of being detained for questioning, which is an inevitability. As soon as this happens, the camera clings to Tania’s body, and follows her to a closed detention centre.
Her sole obsession is to protect her son from deportation, and this angle enables Masset-Depasse to avoid the pitfalls of the genre. It is not a question here of offering viewers a sociological study of detention camps, although the film doesn’t hide the realities of that world. Through Tania’s encounters, we discover the centre’s “residents”, the other refugees, as well as the police officers and wardens, who are all plunged into an inhuman situation, at the limits of the describable