Faisal Ilyas, a Pakistani immigrant recently arrived in Quebec, works as a cook in a Montreal pizzeria. He also takes courses to learn French. Far from friends and family and still disoriented by his new country, he takes the initiative to get out of the big city to explore the regions outside it.
"I like this kind of courage in solitude . . . Yes, they are awkward, left behind, ‘losers’ if you like, but they aren’t cry babies. They ‘make do’, they get by, they don’t give up in the face of this feeling of having been abandoned that nevertheless overcomes them. My short film L’Immigré is entirely devoted to this feeling . . . A young, recent immigrant working in a pizzeria and taking French courses in order to integrate decides to explore his new country. In a series of tableaux, he visits the different regions of Quebec, like a sort of curious stranger exploring the place when the owner is away, with a sense of illegitimacy, not knowing whether he can enter the house of should be content with looking in through the window . . . At the end of this journey . . . Ilyas returns to the city . . . His French teacher asks him to talk about his tour, but we realise that he doesn’t care about what he is saying, that he has very little interest in Ilyas’ trip. He only wants to see how much progress he has made in French . . ."
Cinémathèque québécoise, Simon Galiero, sens et résistance des existences, [http://www.cinematheque.qc.ca/programmation/cycles/2010/avril_mai10/galiero.html] (site consulted on March 31, 2011)