The Citizen

Roland Vranik

Hungary 2016, 110 min.


Spoken language: Hungarian

Subtitles: English

Dutch premiere

Festival year: 2017

Touching fiction film about African refugee Wilson (60), who lives in Hungary and would like to be a Hungarian citizen. He falls in love with his teacher Mari and she returns his affections. But their relationship is complicated by Shririn, an illegal Iranian refugee who has moved in with Wilson and lives in hiding.


Charming and personable Wilson fled from Africa to Hungary, where he currently lives and has a residence permit. He speaks the language and has a job as a security guard in a supermarket, but he would also like to become a Hungarian citizen. In order to learn more about Hungarian culture and history, he takes lessons from Mari, and falls in love with her. Although she returns his affections, he has earned the enmity of Mari's family.

While Wilson does his best to integrate as well as possible and stick to the rules, he finds young Iranian refugee Shririn standing at his door one day. Hugely pregnant, Shririn has run away from a refugee camp, since her residence permit was denied. Wilson offers her a place to stay and even assists her when she gives birth in his bedroom. In order to prevent the Iranian woman and her baby from being sent back to Iran, where they will be in danger, Wilson has decided that he will marry Shririn. This situation is not conducive for his plans for citizenship, and also puts pressure on his relationship with Mari, who has left her family and moved in with Wilson. This creates an impossible dilemma for Wilson, in which he is forced to choose between his love for Mari and his dedication to a friend in need.

Text: Annika Wubbolt


Official website:




World sales:

HNFF Worldsales


This film is FREE for all students on Saturday 25 March, 21:30 hrs. On display of your student card you can get a ticket at the box office (not online).

Talkshows & debates

The Citizen: Q&A with Sander Terphuis

Tuesday, March 28, 2017 - 18:30

Q&A with Sander Terphuis.

The Citizen: Q&A with Roland Vranik

Friday, March 31, 2017 - 18:30

Q&A with director Roland Vranik.