"Viktor Navorski (Tom Hanks) is a visitor to America from a small fictional eastern European country called Krakozhia. He's detained at JFK airport, New York, informed that a coup has occurred in his homeland and that as Krakozhia is no longer recognised by the US, his passport is invalid and he cannot enter the States. His nation no longer exists, so he can't go back, so he takes up residence in the airport terminal, scratching out a living and making friends with the people who work there. He even falls in love with strangely available airline hostess Amelia (Catherine Zeta-Jones), but all the while Navorski is being watched by a paper-shuffling airport security fascist Frank Dixon (Stanley Tucci).The film is, in fact, based on a real-life incident, namely that of Merhan Karimi Nasseri, the Iranian-born traveller who, having lost his documents, has been living on a red plastic bench at Charles de Gaulle Airport since 1988. DreamWorks, it seems, paid Nasseri for the rights to his story, but rather than have a character of Middle Eastern origin (the investors wouldn't like that), this gutless production opts instead for a fictional country."
(Brendan Walls, 2004)
Walls, Brendan (2004) Brisbane News, Brisbane, AUSTRALIA: Brisbane News.