A Fight For Freedom – Day 8 FFF 2011

Anne Coesens as Tania

Tania, played by Anne Coesens

After driving around for ten minutes at the Regal trying to find a parking spot, I finally raced into one as a car was leaving. I worked a 9 hour day and came straight to the film festival from work. So yet again, I arrived at the film right before it started, limiting my interviews with the line.

Not terribly thrilled about any of the features showing tonight, I decided on Illégal. Being a horror buff, I’m normally drawn to foreign films because of their creativity and ability to think outside the box.

Illégal is about illegal immigrants who become captured and detained like animals. Tania, the main character, is captured by authorities. The movie shows the struggle she goes through to protect her son, Ivan.

She lived her life on the run; not only with a fake ID but also by burning off her fingerprints. She was taken from her son and placed in a home, which was more like jail. Because she refused to give the authorities her name for fear of being deported back to her native country. She was given a badge number, 9648, which they used to identify her.

This was a very powerful story about abuse, enslavement and determination. Through everything, the captured illegal aliens made light of the situation by having fun such as playing sports and having food fights. Unfortunately, Aissa, Tania’s roommate, couldn’t handle the hell hole and depression she was under. She hung herself in the shower.

What an inspirational, eye-opener about a fight for freedom while being completely violated and even strip searched. If an illegal was captured, they could opt for a voluntary return to their country, however, most feared for their life going back to their home country.

This was such a dark, gloomy, brutal movie about the courage to survive. Illegals were treated horrible and even subject to police brutality. This film was not what I was expecting and threw me for a loop. It left the audience, and myself, completely stunned, speechless, and in shock.

I spoke with some audience members after the film. Kathryn said it was “really intense and hard to see.” She helped market the movie I saw last night, Hamill. She has a degree in Business and Marketing. This is her 7th year attending the FFF and her 4th year as a volunteer. She then proceeded to tell me that it’s great to be able to see all the films she wants for free (one of the perks for being a volunteer) and that the FFF was among the “top 20 film festivals in the country.”

Not quite my favorite film because I don’t enjoy watching people get beaten, literally, to death. But it was a great film to bring awareness to what life is like for those detained.

Make sure to join me on a less serious note tomorrow with Super. Nothing like a little comic relief to lighten the mood.

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