"We don’t want you. We just can’t do it." In a classroom, a teacher uses math to explain to a group of refugees what their arrival will cost society. The asylum seekers try to refute the figures. They will work, won’t they, and contribute to society? The teacher shatters their illusions: half of them will never find work. In three acts, director and screenwriter Guido Hendrikx explains the European view of the refugee crisis. The man receives three groups of migrants, each time adopting a different attitude: dismissive in the first part, then full of empathy and good will in the second. In the last part, he represents actual European immigration policy, with all its complex rules. Hendrikx shows where the refugees’ dreams clash with reality and forces us to think hard about our own position. Is it human to categorize someone else’s life? The absurdity of the dilemma is expounded upon in the prologue and epilogue to this political essay.
- Special Jury Award for Dutch Documentary - IDFA
- Special Jury Mention - Documenta Madrid
- FIPRESCI Award - Message to Man IFF
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Stranger in Paradise is a blunt essay; rarely has the role of an “actor” been so charged and Dhaenens doesn’t hesitate.
An arresting essay on refugee politics.
Guido Hendrikx (1987) studied liberal Arts & Sciences at the University of Utrecht. During this time he worked as a freelance journalist for several media. In 2010 his film debut DAY IS DONE* was selected for IDFA, and he began his studies as a documentary film director at the Dutch Film Academy. His new project A WONDERFUL HORRIBLE STORY will be presented at CPH:FORUM 2019.