Clandestins (1997)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Political Drama, Psychological Thriller  |   Run Time - 98 min.  |   Countries - Belgium, Canada, France, Switzerland  |  
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A dark and claustrophobic film, this brutal, tragic, gut-wrenching drama is set almost totally within the confines of a ship's cargo container that is only 25 square meters in size. It is the grim story of six ill-fated refugees trying to get to Canada from a port in France. The police are in hot pursuit when the septet of strangers are stowed away in the huge metal box. The refugees -- two men, two women and two children -- are of various backgrounds including Gypsy, Russian and Arab. The first of many problems occurs when a mother and daughter arrive with no food (they lost it during a chase). The one Russian refugee, Roman, declares that they should not be allowed to board the ship, but the other three refugees allow them in. Their ordeal begins when the ship breaks down in Liverpool. The layover is hard on the hidden party's food supply. Another breakdown at sea is disastrous, for everyone inside runs out of food and water. Their hunger, thirst and fear causes chaos amongst them, and violence erupts at different points. Finally they become so desperate that they decide they must escape the container or die. Unfortunately, if they succeed, a worse fate may await them on deck, for the ship's crew knows that their employer will face a $5,000 per head fine levied by the Canadian government for any illegal alien that is discovered on board their vessel. As a result, the crewmen have no qualms about doing whatever they want with their unwanted cargo.



escape, illegal-alien, rape, refugee, starvation, stowaway