Originally released in 2018, director Paul Marques Duarte’s film centers around the European immigrant crisis. The short film is not only timely; it is well done having won numerous awards.
Weary and at the end of her rope, high school English teacher Adèle (Marie Brunel – Les Choristes, La Nouvel Guerre des Boutons) is supervising a class trip. She and another male teacher (Ali Marhyar – Zero Dark Thirty, As Above, So Below) are there and taking the class on the overnight ferry to England.
While waiting in line to go through customs, suddenly a young 15-year-old migrant boy (N’Tarila Kouka) appears and Adèle , for a reason never made clear, passes him off as one of the students. The consequences of her decision are far reaching.
“Illegal” has become a loaded term in the world today. What does that really even mean. Most migrants trying to gain asylum in Europe are coming from horrific conditions. War, persecution, starvation, etc. Some people have managed to just help the person in front of them. Without a second thought to how they are labelled. More of us, like Adèle , have to come to the realization that it takes relatively little from us to have a huge impact on another human’s life.
The acting of Kouka and Brunel is really what makes the film. They forge an on screen chemistry. Kouka has to establish his character without really talking.
The short film (duration is 23 minutes) has screened at almost 50 film festivals and is still going strong. On top of that, the film is now qualified for the first selection of the Academy Awards.