Sunday, February 10, 2019

The Advantage of Immigrant Actors?

 

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."

KJ

February 10, 2019 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, February 9, 2019

At the Movies: The Long Ride, a documentary

 

The Long Ride Trailer from Valerie Lapin Ganley on Vimeo.

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.

Here is a description of the film:

"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."

The-Long-Ride-Poster-2

KJ

 

February 9, 2019 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, February 3, 2019

At the Movies: The Invisibles

 

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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:


KJ

February 3, 2019 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 27, 2019

'Roma' Actor Jorge Antonio Guerrero Martinez Denied U.S. Visa to Attend Oscars

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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.

KJ

 

January 27, 2019 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (2)

Thursday, January 24, 2019

At the Movies: Destierros (Translated Exiles), Torch Films

 

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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.

 
The goal is well known — to get into the north of the continent at all costs.  But whether dangerously hanging onto trains, avoiding the gangs that prey on the long path to exile, or going days without food or water, the journey is mostly a matter of staying alive.
 
Destierros breathes the urgency of their situation, and contributes to our understanding of the relations of power exercised over migrants and between them.
 
 

92 minutes - Spanish with English subtitles

KJ

January 24, 2019 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

Hear from Ms. A-B- Herself in this HRW Video

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-.

-KitJ

January 23, 2019 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Trump Defends Border Security Position, Government Shutdown

 

 

January 13, 2019 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Growing Up a Refugee: Mohammad is a 15 year-old Rohingya refugee. He is stateless.

 

From AJ Plus:

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

KJ

 

January 9, 2019 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

President Trump argues over Border Wall with House Leader Nancy Pelosi and Senator Chuck Schumer

 

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.

KJ

December 12, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, December 1, 2018

At the Movies: The Long Ride, A Documentary

 

The Long Ride introduction (2:36) from Valerie Lapin Ganley on Vimeo.

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.

KJ

December 1, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Hasan Minhaj: Immigration Enforcement/PATRIOT Act

 

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.”

KJ

 

November 27, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Being The Kind Of Immigrant British People Don't Mind So Much

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.

-KitJ

November 21, 2018 in Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Monday, November 19, 2018

The Try Guys - Learning Immigration With Hiroshi

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!

-KitJ

November 19, 2018 in Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Meet The Dreamers Caught in the DACA Fight | Waking Dream Ep. 1

 

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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Indie Lens Storycast is proudly produced by ITVS for PBS Digital Studios.

KJ

 

November 15, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Will "The Apprentice" Come Back to Haunt President Trump?

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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.

KJ

November 15, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Set Your DVR for Full Frontal's Holiday Special "Christmas on I.C.E." (Dec. 19, 10:30PM ET/PT, TBS)

Well, that headline pretty much sums it up. Here's a preview to whet your appetite:

I may need to ask Santa for an expanded cable package.

-KitJ

 

November 14, 2018 in Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

At the Movies: Eldorado, a documentary

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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.

KJ

November 13, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Saturday, November 3, 2018

At the Movies: Abu Adnan

 

Abu Adnan (Full film here)
Duration: 25:13
 
Director: Sylvia Le Fanu
Producer: Sune Wahl 
 
Winner: Indy shorts, Grand Prize Winner, Oscar Qualifying festival.
 
Synopsis
Sayid, a refugee doctor from Syria, has just received a Danish residence permit, and is about to embark on establishing a new life in rural Denmark together with his son Adnan. At the same time as having to learn a new language, he faces the challenge of maintaining his boy's respect, in a situation where Adnan's assimilation seems to be going somewhat faster than his own.
 
Intention:
The story is a different take on refugees, because more than a film about refugees it’s a story about humans, and a story that we know resonate not only with refugees but also immigrants and non immigrants, this is not a story about politics, but as I said, a human story. Its about communication and what often gets lots in translation through language and culture. Its a film with no bad guys, only people trying their best the real enemy here is what is lost in translation. We wanted to make a film that presents a realistic look into the inner workings of a refugee/immigrant family trying to settle in a new country not only fighting with a new language and culture, but also the new family dynamics, that come in play when the children learn the language and assimilate faster. 
KJ

 

November 3, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

Friday, November 2, 2018

Immigrant of the Day: Mo Amer

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.

-KitJ

November 2, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television, Teaching Resources | Permalink | Comments (0)

Thursday, November 1, 2018

Trump Tweets Immigration Campaign Ad: What do you think?

 

 

For commentary on the ad, click here.

KJ

 

November 1, 2018 in Current Affairs, Film & Television | Permalink | Comments (0)