Stranger in Paradise


Stranger in Paradise
(Pays-Bas, 2016, 73 min)

De Guido Hendrikx

Category: Eurodrome

One World Festival

What do you actually want from Europe? Do you think of us as a sort of Garden of Eden, whose fruit you can harvest as you wish? Exhausted immigrants, who have just survived the sea to arrive on European shores, continue to hear such questions.

The documentary’s protagonist Valentijn Dhaenens, a Belgian actor, assuming the role of a mentor, confronts immigrants at his lectures with some of the typical European attitudes towards their arrival. Should we caution them about potential problems? Or support their dreams for a better life? Who will get a chance to stay in Europe? How do we decide? One thing is certain: far more complicated mechanisms than the mere determination and will of foreigners lie behind entering “paradise”. Under which scenario will one of the greatest stories of our time – the story of migration, hope and disillusion in which everyone is forced to play a role – develop?