'What I didn't want to make was one of those British issue-based gritty films about life in the margins', according to the Polish-born director Pawlikowski. The Last Resort is indeed not the depressing social drama that it could have been, judging by the story that Pawlikowski wants to tell.Tanya is a young Russian woman who arrives with her small son at a station in London, to be united with her British fiancé. However she is stopped at the border by suspicious immigration officials. To avoid being sent straight back to Moscow she asks for political asylum. She is taken to Stonehaven, a centre for asylum seekers. She keeps trying to get in touch with her fiancé, but without success. While awaiting a decision about her status, she is given a flat and a handful of food vouchers. Her fiancé never turns up, but it will take months before she can officially be sent back to Russia.Despite its far-from cheerful story, The Last Resort is not a sad film. That is largely thanks to the appealing characters, who manage to transcend their miserable circumstances and chilling surroundings with vitality, humour and warmth. Despite the British setting, the film does not look very British: the monotonous concrete landscape with its subtle shades of grey almost looks beautiful. The Last Resort won the Golden Alexander at the Thessaloniki Festival.