Man who inspired Tom Hanks movie The Terminal dies at airport

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The man who inspired Tom Hanks’ movie The terminal died at Charles de Gaulle airport after living there for 18 years.

Released in 2004, The terminal followed the character of Hanks as he settled into New York’s John F. Kennedy Airport after being denied entry to the United States and prevented from returning to his home country due to a military coup.

It’s billed as a comedy, but the protagonist still realizes he has nowhere to go, eventually resigning himself to eating food at the airport – and coping with a daily dose of travelers from around the world. whole world.

The plot itself seems too surreal to be based on real life, but in fact it’s just a snapshot of the experience of Mehran Karimi Nasseri, the Iranian who spent nearly two decades living in one of the main airports in Paris.

Tom Hanks played a character similar to Nasseri in The Terminal. Credit: DreamWorks Pictures

Nasseri found himself in a legal limbo after arriving in Paris in 1988 because he had no residency papers. He remained at Terminal 1 until 2006, sleeping on a red plastic bench and showering in facilities designed for employees.

In 1999 he told the Associated Press, “I’ll eventually leave the airport. But I’m still waiting for a passport or a transit visa.”

When his documents arrived, however, he described his fears of leaving the airport and allegedly refused to sign the papers. He remained at the airport before being admitted to hospital in 2006.

According to a Paris airport official, Nasseri has returned to live there in recent weeks.

Yesterday (November 12) he suffered a heart attack while in Terminal 2F. Emergency services were called for help, but could not save him.

Nasseri's experience inspired The Terminal.  Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo
Nasseri’s experience inspired The Terminal. Credit: REUTERS / Alamy Stock Photo

Nasseri previously shared his experience in a book titled The terminal manwhich was released the same year as Hanks’ film.

He was born in Soleiman, a part of Iran that was previously under British jurisdiction, to an Iranian father and a British mother and later claimed he was assaulted on his way to Charles Airport in Gaulle in 1988.

After boarding a plane to London he was sent back to Paris, but when he tried to leave the airport he was arrested and imprisoned for six months, according to his book.

He then returned to the airport, but was denied access to any other nation. With nowhere to go, he made Charles de Gaulle his temporary residence.

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