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Last Resort (2000)


Warning: screenonline full synopses contain 'spoilers' which give away key plot points. Don't read on if you don't want to know the ending!

When Russian illustrator Tanya and her son Artiom arrive in England, Tanya's fiancé Mark doesn't meet them at the airport as planned. Attracting suspicion at passport control, Tanya sees no alternative but to request asylum. She and her son are re-located to a tower block in Stonehaven by the coast which serves as a detention centre for refugees. Local bingo caller Alfie serves many of the needs of the refugees, selling them phone cards and cigarettes to sell on. He helps Tanya make a call to Mark and she leaves a desperate message on Mark's answer-phone. She and Artiom attempt to take a train to London but are told that the railway station is closed. They head for the nearest motorway, hoping to hitch a lift, but are spotted on CCTV cameras and returned to the holding area by the authorities.

Tanya receives food and toiletry vouchers and learns that it will take the Home Office 12 to 16 months to administer her application for asylum. Artiom meets a group of young locals who sell electrical equipment to the refugees. Tanya asks Alfie if he can help her find a way out of Stonehaven and he says he'll look into an escape plan for her. When Tanya and Artiom have dinner in a café they meet flashy entrepreneur Les, who runs a cybersex website. Les hands Tanya a business card and tells her that she could make a lot of money performing for his website. When she fails to find work at a local café and can't sell her fur pieces, she visits Les's studio but after witnessing a demonstration, turns him down. Instead, she donates blood to earn some extra cash.

That night, Alfie visits Tanya and Artiom and brings them a takeaway dinner and a portable television. He says that Tanya will need to raise £300 to pay someone to smuggle her and Artiom away from Stonehaven. The next day, Tanya and Artiom try to escape again but are captured once more and warned that, if caught again, they will be imprisoned. Tanya makes another phone call to Mark but it becomes clear that he won't come to their rescue. She inquires about withdrawing her application for asylum and discovers that this process will take 3 to 6 months.

Tanya returns to Les's studio and agrees to film an erotic scene for his adult website. However, during a striptease she breaks down in tears and leaves. She arrives back at the holding centre to find that Alfie and Artiom have decorated her room. Alfie asks Tanya out for the evening and they spend a romantic night together while Artiom goes on a petty crime spree with his new friends.

Alfie is in Tanya's room when Les makes an unexpected visit to pay Tanya for her work and to ask her back to the studio. Alfie is disgusted and storms out. Later, he finds Artiom drunk on the street and takes care of the boy. Alfie then breaks into Les's office and attacks him, destroying the studio. Alfie tells Tanya that he will help them escape himself. He leads them to an empty boat and steers them away from Stonehaven. They reach a motorway and Alfie flags down a lorry, asking the driver to take Tanya and Artiom to London.