The French city of Calais has become a popular destination for political refugees and others seeking a new life in Europe, but not everyone in France is happy about this situation. Calais became so overrun with people looking either to settle in France or use it as a jumping off spot to England or the United States that in 2002 president Nicolas Sarkozy closed many of the immigration centers that had become home to would-be exiles waiting out the status of their visa cases. Since then, the public parks of Calais have become makeshift way stations for these travelers, where they make camp until they find out if they have to move on, and filmmakers Jonathan Le Fourn and Andrei Schtakleff offer a leisurely but telling profile of this special breed of homeless in the documentary L'Exil et le Royaume. The film follows a handful of refugees in Calais as they struggle to stay warm, stay fed, pass the time and start life over again in the wake of a variety of political and personal setbacks. L'Exil et le Royaume was an official selection at the 2008 Venice Film Festival.
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