Illegal, beyond the film, the debate

  • 09.10.2010

“Illegal is a committed, revolting film,” he explains to Lieven Trio who interviews him for Metrotime . “It is my humanism that revolted against an unacceptable situation: the confinement of undocumented migrants in closed centers. But it is above all the fight of a mother to find her son. I tried to make a real psychological thriller, but with a background of social criticism, my examples being, among others, Ken Loach, Costa-Gavras and Iñárritu. But with no comparison of talent, obviously!”

Modest Olivier. And yet, yes, Europe engaged in a headlong rush that often exceeds the concerns of its citizens needs voluble witnesses to set up reference points, to wake up consciences, to raise the alarm.

A RFI Olivier Masset-Depasse, obviously interested in the theme of the film, clarifies its purpose and intentions: “Beware, if you don’t respect the other, you don’t respect yourself anymore”, such is the message of the film. Clearly, if I become a scumbag, then I’m going to walk away from myself. It is important that the viewer identifies as deeply as possible with the character. I based myself on a reality: the presence of a strong Russian-speaking community in Belgium. I have met many of these single mothers who are arriving more and more in our countries. In the film, I didn’t want any racial or cultural barriers. I wanted the spectator to be able to say to himself “Tania, that’s me”. Through this film, I did not want to preach only to the convinced, but also to the people on the other side. So we had to make the immigrant look as much like us as possible.”

Aware that this is an essential debate, Le Soir has also opened the discussion in its pages. The mini file is to be read HERE :

The producers/distributors of Illégal have taken the opportunity to propose that an open letter that every Internet user can sign. When popular cinema captures a social phenomenon to this extent, provokes this kind of reaction, we all feel that something is happening; something important…

You can also listen to an audio interview of Olivier Masset-Depasse given to a radio in Marseille HERE )