Jacob Thomas Pilgaard’s short film, The Deportation of a Model Citizen, presents a face to a global refugee crisis.
The Deportation of a Model Citizen is the story of three people. Aida (Thalita Beltrão Sørensen) and her two police escorts, Marcel (Mads Hjulmand) and Lasse (Joey Moe). Set in Denmark, model student Aida’s life is about to be altered forever. Already given deportation orders days prior, the police arrive early to escort Aida to the airport to avoid a planned protest by Aida’s allies.
Lasse is the by-the-books officer. He does what he’s told and effectively uses his stern demeanor to get it. Marcel is the more sympathetic of the two, willing to bend to Aida’s simple requests. On the slow trip to the airport, Marcel allows Aida to say goodbye to her close friend, Eva (Cecilie Elisabeth Bogø Bach). Then off to her principal Poul (Søren Vejby), who was preparing for the demonstration on her actual deportation day. Finally, the trio goes to the beach so Aida can get one last look at the ocean.
“Already given deportation orders days prior, the police arrive early to escort Aida to the airport…”
Looking down from high above, the Syrian refugee crisis is nameless and faceless. When you look at it from afar, you see not only a homogenous group but an impersonal political issue to support or criticize from your easy chair. The true nature of politics is that it’s more complex than we believe. It is more complicated than just “send them home” or “let them stay.”
Director Pilgaard takes the “let them stay” perspective throughout The Deportation of a Model Citizen and is effective in drilling down and giving a face to the refugee crisis. He uses the main character to be the sympathetic protagonist and tells his story through her supporters and foes along the way. Through this injustice, Aida found love and support from the people she touched along the way.
Politics is rarely fun, and just when you think you’ve taken a firm position, The Deportation of a Model Citizen urges you to think again.
"…effective in drilling down and giving a face to the refugee crisis."