Sunday, February 10, 2019
Janan Ganesh in the Financial Times comes up with an interesting explanation for successful immigrant actors, using Christian Bale, a U.S. immigrant from the United Kingdom, as an example. Inspired by Bale's portrayal of Vice President Dick Cheney in the film Vice,
" I wonder if nativists and xenophobes have a point. To be an immigrant does confer at least one unfair advantage in life.
Immigration teaches — it almost forces — what we are now obliged to call soft skills. In order to fit in, the newcomer has to observe other people with an acuity that the born-insider might never develop. The eyes register nuances of body language. The ears twitch at subtleties of accent. You start to notice that the native-born are as different from each other as you are from them (especially in Britain, with its mille-feuille of social gradations) and that the manners that let you ghost into one group are not transferable to another. There is lots of trial and error, some of it comic, some of it wounding to recall in later life. There might even be some `code-switching' between home and the world outside."
Saturday, February 9, 2019
The Long Ride is a timely documentary film about the historic 2003 Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride and the birth of the new Civil Rights Movement for immigrant workers in America.
"The Long Ride is a timely new 77 minute documentary about the historic 2003 Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride which sparked the new Civil Rights Movement for immigrant workers in the United States. Alarmed by the increase in deportations, family separation, and workplace abuses, more than 900 immigrants and allies traveled from ten cities across America to focus public attention on the plight of immigrant workers and call for reform of the broken immigration system. They were inspired by the 1961 Civil Rights Movement Freedom Riders who risked their lives fighting to end segregation. The film chronicles their journey and the on-going fight for immigrant rights to this day. The Long Ride follows the journey of more than 100 Riders from Northern California."
Sunday, February 3, 2019
The film The Invisibles recently opened and is worth seeing. Here is the story line:
While Joseph Goebbels infamously declared Berlin "free of Jews" in 1943, 1,700 managed to survive in the Nazi capital through the end of WWII. The Invisibles traces the stories of four young people who learned to hide in plain sight.
NPR had a nice review of the film:
Sunday, January 27, 2019
It is Oscar season and the Academy Awards ceremony is in February. Here is a not-so-good Oscar story.
The Daily Beast reports that Mexican actor Jorge Antonio Guerrero Martínez, who stars in “Roma,” might miss the Oscars because U.S. officials have denied his visa requests. Guerrero reportedly has applied for a U.S. visa on three occasions, even giving officials a letter from producers of “Roma,” which has been nominated for Best Picture and many other Oscars. The letter attested to how Guerrero had been invited to industry events and appearances in the U.S.
Last year, a Syrian documentary producer was initially denied a visa due to the Trump administration's travel ban but eventually won an appeal of the denial and was issued a visa.
Thursday, January 24, 2019
Viscerally immersed in the experience of Central American migrants on their perilous route to the United States, Destierros provides a sobering account of the desperation, perseverance, and humanity of people fleeing violence with a last hope for a better life.
Leading up to the 2016 US elections, migrants are aware of what may be their last chance to cross the border. Using pure cinematic means, this crucial documentary captures the life-threatening experience of illegal migration. Alternating between visceral sensory sequences and revealing testimonials, the camera is an active observer that bears witness to the violent intensity of uncertain exile, and immortalizes the heartbreaking stories of men and women haunted by the past and clinging to their last rays of hope.
92 minutes - Spanish with English subtitles
Wednesday, January 23, 2019
This short (4-minute) video is an absolute must for your class on asylum. It's incredibly rare to be able to hear directly from a litigant at the center of a leading case. And in this video from Human Rights Watch, you get that opportunity to hear directly from the woman at the heart of Matter of A-B-.
Sunday, January 13, 2019
Wednesday, January 9, 2019
Mohammad is a 15 year-old Rohingya refugee. He is stateless.
He’s one of the 120,000 young people aged between 10 and 18 living in the Rohingya refugee camp at the Bangladesh-Myanmar border.
His family fled the bloody military-led massacre in Myanmar, which killed up to 10,000 people by December 2017.
With few opportunities to learn, and fearful of returning home to Myanmar, Mohammad has taken up casual work in a blacksmith workshop and was interviewed by AJ+ about growing up in a refugee camp.
This is his story.
Producer & narrator: Aisha Gani
Video Journalist: Rajib Mohajan
Video Editor: Alice de la Chapelle
Illustrator & Animator: Nas Alhussein
Sound mix: Ahmed Khelif
Wednesday, December 12, 2018
The national news from Washington yesterday focused on President Trump's desire to build a wall along the U.S./Mexico border.
President Trump, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer squabbled on camera Tuesday over the border wall, as they face a fast-approaching deadline for a partial government shutdown. The public spat with Trump declaring that he would "proud" to shut down the government to get the appropriations for the border wall. If the president follows through on the threat, the federal government would begin to run out of money on December 21.
Saturday, December 1, 2018
The Long Ride, a documentary film about the historic 2003 Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride which sparked a new Civil Rights Movement for immigrant workers and comprehensive immigration reform. The film, which was released in 2017, won the Best Documentary Award at the Immigration Film Fest in Washington, D.C. last month and a Mención Honorifica at X Encuentro Hispanoamericano de Cine y Video documental: Contra El Silencio Todas Las Voces in Mexico City, in addition to screenings at numerous other film festivals and community events in the U.S., Mexico and Spain.
Alarmed by the increase in immigration raids, deportations, family separation, and attacks on workers’ rights, more than 900 immigrants and allies traveled across America to focus public attention on the plight of immigrant workers and to call for reform of the broken immigration system. They were inspired by the 1961 Freedom Riders who risked their lives fighting to end segregation. The film chronicles their journey focusing on 106 Riders from Northern California. Their first stop after boarding buses in the Bay Area was at the State Capitol for a rally where several Sacramento residents joined the Ride. During the 12 day trip, they met with local activists, held press conferences and participated in demonstrations in support of immigrant rights. In Washington, D.C., they called on lawmakers to pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation including a pathway to citizenship, family reunification, stronger workplace rights and civil rights for all. The film is laced with personal accounts of the Riders own experiences as immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers. The last 12 minutes of the 77 minute documentary provides updates with several Riders on the on-going fight for immigrant rights to this day including both challenges and successes such as enactment of several pro-immigrant laws in California. The film is a valuable educational tool and blueprint for how to take action for social justice.
You may find more information about the film at thelongride.film.
Tuesday, November 27, 2018
In an episode of his Netflix series (“Immigration Enforcement/PATRIOT Act), Hasan Minhaj takes a close look at the nation’s immigration enforcement system. Using data from The Marshall Project’s immigration reporting, Hasan breaks it down with a mix of facts and humor. As he describes the massive difference between the nation’s increase in the immigrant population and the decrease in violent crime, Hasan says, “That’s immigrant dads yelling at their kids, “Don’t f**k this up. They’ll deport us.”
Wednesday, November 21, 2018
The Mash Report is a comedy program on BBC Two. (Side note: there are a LOT of BBC channels). A few weeks ago, this horribly-uncomfortable-yet-hillarious episode aired: How to be the kind of immigrant British people don't mind so much.
Monday, November 19, 2018
I just stumbled across this video from The Try Guys, a group of comedic youtubers. About a year ago, they filmed an episode with immprof extraordinaire Hiroshi Motomura. The episode does a great job of laying out the difficulties inherent in seeking citizenship in the United States through, you won't believe this, hypotheticals (all of which would be excellent for class).
Keep this episode in mind for intro-to-immigration material. Maybe you've got a course that requires getting up-to-speed on immigration in advance. This might be a good clip to assign - perhaps paired with Virgil Webe's immigration hotel.
Kudos to Hiroshi for reaching out the young folk where they spend 99.99% of their time - on Youtube!
Thursday, November 15, 2018
Waking Dream, is done and Episode One just launched on a PBS YouTube channel!
The link to Ep1 is HERE and the rest of the series will roll out every Tuesday for the next 5 weeks.
Waking Dream shows us the powerful journeys of undocumented young DREAMers with stories of resilience and hope in the face of legal limbo. Meet: Dilan, a Bay Area teacher with an uncertain future who preps underprivileged kids for theirs; Rossy in south Texas where, without DACA, checkpoints would keep her from completing her PhD; and twins John and James, the sons of Filipino immigrants who dream of serving in the US military and want nothing more than "to give back, to protect the people that welcomed us."
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NBC News reports that lawyers suing President Donald Trump over his decision to end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for Salvadorans, Haitians, and Hondurans are seeking unaired footage from the reality television show "The Apprentice" to try to bolster their case alleging the move was racially motivated.
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights has issued subpoenas to MGM Holdings Inc. and Trump Productions LLC demanding any footage shot during the production of the show in which Trump "uses racial and/or ethnic slurs" or "makes remarks concerning race, nationality and/or ethnic background."
Former White House staffer and fellow reality-TV star Omarosa Manigault Newman claimed in a book released in August, "Unhinged," that a tape exists of the president using the N-word on the reality show's set.
The case filed in federal court centers on the Trump administration's decision to end TPS for thousands of noncitizens from Haiti, El Salvador and Honduras. The lawsuit alleges that President Trump's move to rescind the program was rooted in racial animus, citing comments that he made on the campaign trial and in office.
Wednesday, November 14, 2018
Tuesday, November 13, 2018
Eldorado is a 2018 Swiss documentary film directed by Markus Imhoof. It was selected as the Swiss entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards.
Drawing inspiration from his personal encounter with the Italian refugee child Giovanna during World War II, Eldorado tells how refugees and migrants are treated today: on the Mediterranean Sea, in Lebanon, in Italy, in Germany and in Switzerland.
Saturday, November 3, 2018
Friday, November 2, 2018
Mohammad "Mo" Amer is a naturalized U.S. citizen. Born in Kuwait to Palestinian parents, Amer sought asylum in the U.S. during the first Gulf War. He was granted asylum, though it took many years to become a U.S. citizen.
His comedy includes bits about on his life as an English-speaking refugee in the U.S. and the hurdles he faced making his way to overseas gigs on an refugee travel document.
Here he is on Colbert last year:
And here's a preview for his Netflix show "the Vagabond."
Lots of great material for class, and just the humor break you need this week.
Thursday, November 1, 2018
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