Year: 2010
Run Time: 90 minutes

Tania is an intelligent Russian woman who has been living with her 13-year-old son Ivan in Belgium for eight years. They're both fluent in French and integrated in the community. But they're in the country illegally and live in constant fear of being accosted by the immigration authorities. One day, the unimaginable happens: Tania is stopped by officials who question her fake ID. They grab her as she tries to flee and she screams at Ivan to run. What follows is every parent's nightmare: unclear about where her son has landed, Tania is brought to a holding center for illegal women and children. She staunchly refuses to give the authorities her name, or even the country she comes from, in the hopes of avoiding deportation. While in detention she befriends a bitter African woman who schools Tania in the ways of the system. Nervous camera work and a tightly-controlled performance by actress Anne Coesens contribute to the emotional impact of this harrowing drama. ILLEGAL is a provocative film about the rights afforded illegal aliens. (In French and Russian with subtitles) – B.B.

Olivier Masset-Depasse

Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou

Olivier Nakache, Éric Toledano

Mathieu Vadepied

Dorian Rigal-Ansous

Principal Cast
François Cluzet, Omar Sy

Director Bio
Olivier Masset-Depasse was born in 1971 in Charleroi, Belgium. He graduated in scriptwriting/novel and musical composition from the European Writing University in 1993, and in film direction from the Belgian I.A.D. arts school in 1997.

Select Filmography
"Cages" (2006), ILLEGAL (2010)

Print Source

Film Movement


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