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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.
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.