Get On The Plane


Reviewed by: Jennie Kermode

Presented as an advert for the holiday sensation that is deportation, Get On The Plane is a satirically upbeat little film which uses retro animation intercut with ugly news footage to explore the fate which awaits unsuccessful asylum applicants. Perky, energetic and colourful, it's filled with images of posters and brochures advertising deadly destinations. Its pop music soundtrack, presented by an anonymous animated singer/guitarist, cheerfully presents the official line about how returning to the country of origin will be a safe and happy experience, but clips of detention camps and aggressive soldiers tell us otherwise.

Central to what makes this film work is its anonymous presenter, a figure who, in turn, morphs into an anonymous face in the window of a plane, something we've all seen on the news but which we might not have paid much attention to. In stark contrast to the simplicity of the animation, we will ultimately see this figure with a human face, reminding us that this is a human issue and not merely a matter of spin. Get On The Plane demonstrates the way in which asylum seekers have been dehumanised in the popular imagination. Its lightweight presentation satirises the way in which successive governments have attempted to trivialise the concerns of refugee activists.

With such a short and slender film, there's only so much one can say that isn't better said directly. Get On The Plane isn't a work of great intellectual or emotional depth, but it doesn't need to be - it makes its point clearly and succinctly. As such, it provides a nice counterpoint to the bulk of dramatic work on this subject, and it's very effective.

Reviewed on: 15 Jun 2007
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A musical, animated advert for deportation.

Year: 2005

Runtime: 2 minutes

Country: UK


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