Based on Russian lead Dmitri Boudrine's painful struggles to gain immigrant status in Canada, "Exiles in Paradise" is an especially unpolished dramatic exploration of what contempo refugees and their immigration attorneys must go through to realize legality and self-respect.

Based on Russian lead Dmitri Boudrine’s painful struggles to gain immigrant status in Canada, “Exiles in Paradise” is an especially unpolished dramatic exploration of what contempo refugees and their immigration attorneys must go through to realize legality and self-respect. One of a new crop (along with Barbet Schroeder’s “Our Lady of the Assassins”) shot on Sony’s hi-def video, writer-director Wesley Lowe’s micro-budgeted work is little more than a workshop production best left to private screenings for interested groups, certainly not for ticket buyers.

The rare pic actually set in its Vancouver locales, “Exiles” profiles Dmitri (Boudrine), a theater man trying to remain in Canada and keep his Russo ensemble alive while befriending — for no good reason we can see here — bitter, sarcastic Chinese refugee Ai Ling (the astringent Benita Ha), who maintains a love-hate relationship with immigration lawyer Steve (JR Bourne). Dmitri’s preoccupation with Chekhov only underlines the script’s crude constructions.

Exiles in Paradise

Canada

Production

A Wesley Lowe Prods. presentation with the participation of the Movie Network and Superchannel. (International sales: Wesley Lowe Prods., Vancouver.) Produced by Wesley Lowe. Executive producer, Anita Fu. Directed, written by Wesley Lowe.

Crew

Camera (color, video), Max Lindenthaler; editor, Trevor Mirosh; music, Marina Kotsios, Alex Kharlamov; production designer, Kristen Johnson; costume designers, Annika Shelly, Audrey Wong. Reviewed at Method Fest (competing), Pasadena, June 18, 2001. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Dmitri Boudrine, Benita Ha, JR Bourne, Tatiana Chekhova, Larissa Blajko, Lindsay Bourne.
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