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Tania is a former teacher from Russia, living illegally in Belgium with her son, Ivan. One day she is stopped for a routine check by the police and is arrested. Separated from Ivan, who manages to escape, she is placed in an immigration detention center for women and children. While utterly refusing to face expulsion, Tania thus begins a fight to preserve her dignity, identity and humanity, as well as find her son. -- (C) Film Movement

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 70%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

""Illegal" will give people on both sides of the immigrant debate something to think about."
‑ V.A. Musetto, New York Post
"This is a film with a message, but it doesn't preach. The primary focus of the story is not on the immigration issue, but on Tania and her love for her son."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"Exhaustingly depressing view inside the legal morass faced by illegal immigrants awaiting deportation, but Coesens brings extraordinary yet empathetic toughness."
‑ Nora Lee Mandel,
"A haunting excursion into the more often than not invisible world of single motherhood on the edge. And where women with no support systems or resources but tremendous determination would crawl through hell and back to protect and defend their children."
‑ Prairie Miller, NewsBlaze
"A sad movie that makes you feel bad, partly because it gives so little room to thought."
‑ Manohla Dargis, New York Times
"full review at Movies for the Masses"
‑ Joseph Proimakis, Movies for the Masses
"A taut and powerful movie that might have easily been titled "Nobody is Illegal" given its courageous stance against the kind of xenophobia generated by a capitalist system in decline."
‑ Louis Proyect,
"Blunt, loud, and showboaty, Illegal suffers even more when compared with another recent Liège-set film about the horrors faced by paperless immigrants: the Dardennes' Lorna's Silence."
‑ Melissa Anderson, Village Voice
"Although made in Belgium, Olivier Masset-Depasse's drama depicts a scenario that should resonate on these shores as well."
‑ Ethan Alter, NYC Film Critic
"A well-crafted and realistic look at the shameful and humiliating treatment of illegal immigrants in Belgian detention centers."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
More reviews for Illegal on Rotten Tomatoes

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