The Deportation of a Model Citizen
Written and directed by Jacob Thomas Pilgaard, 'The Deportation of a Model Citizen' is a 2022 drama short that stars Thalita Beltrão Sørensen, Joey Moe and Mads Hjulmand. The film centres on Aida, a well-integrated Syrian refugee who is being deported back to the war-torn country. As two police officers arrive to pick up Aida, their journey to the airport will have far-reaching consequences for everyone involved.
The star of the story is Thalita Beltrão Sørensen as Aida. Portraying a scared and shocked refugee so flawlessly that one only sees Aida herself, Sørensen meets her match in Joey Moe's Lasse. Lasse will start off as hard and indifferent to Aida's plight, but over the drive to the airport, Lasse gradually loosens up to Aida's misfortune. As a tearful Aida suddenly hugs Lasse by the end, the audience cannot help but shed a tear. This is fantastic writing and characterization on display, making the audiences identify with the characters' plight whilst saying something about the world we live in.
Pilgaard's direction is fantastic, and Kristian Arbs's cinematography captures the mood and setting of the story flawlessly. There is so much to love about this film, from the deeply emotional central story to the friction between Aida and Lasse that turns into a reluctant friendship. Pilgaard's film not only presents a pressing issue in an inspirational light, but it is also a great film in its light that punches above and beyond what it sets out to do.
Featuring fantastic characters, great acting and a resonant script, 'The Deportation of a Model Citizen' takes a pertinent look at how unsuspecting Syrians are plucked and sent back home by some European countries. Facing prison or death, the plight of these Syrians has taken Europe by storm with strong opinions on both sides of the issue. What 'The Deportation of a Model Citizen' does is that it manages to humanize the subject and, in this process, initiate a societal conversation about the terrible thing happening purposefully to these refugees. Pilgaard's film is, therefore, a tour de force in resonant storytelling as one cannot help but identify with the plight of the refugees forced to go somewhere where they face certain harm and possibly even death.