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Britanya was shot early in 2003 in Sangatte, the North French coastal town near the entrance to the Channel Tunnel. The controversial refugee centre there closed its doors December 2, 2002. In Britanya the now shelterless refugees have their chance to speak. As in her previous, award-winning film Sa Nule (1996), Boonstra (1959) places her characters in front of a mirror and asks them to describe their own lives. That yields unusually penetrating images and judgements.

Britanya consists of a prologue followed by three sections. The film was originally developed as part of Go No Go, a four part installation combining the work of photographer Ad van Denderen and filmmaker Marjoleine Boonstra. Go No Go focuses on the issue of migration in Europe. Britanya can also be viewed as a single channel production and is available on DVD.


Marjoleine Boonstra (b. 1959) is a photographer and filmmaker. In 2002, she was awarded the L.J. Jordaan Prize from the Amsterdam Fund for the Arts and the Icodo award for her film Bela Bela, in which four poets tell the story of their political imprisonment. Boonstra's films have been broadcast internationally by various organisations including Arte, BRT, VPRO and HBC. Her films were shown at festivals in Berlin, Krakow, London, St. Petersburg ,Tel Aviv, Mexico-City, New York, as well as the International Film Festival Rotterdam, IDFA (Amsterdam) and at art galleries such as the Van Abbe Museum (Eindhoven) and the Venice Biennale.



In the media

  • This video stands out among the countless films about migration. in an unobtrusive and sensitive way it gives face and dignity, space and time to people who have nothing but their hope. Its challenging film language, its quiet shots and its impressive symbolism are remarkable.

    Ecumenical Jury, International Kurzfilmtage Oberhausen, Germany, 2004

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