Movies about Immigrants
This is England: Mods, New Romantics, and Skinheads are the major youth sub-cultures of this very English summer of 1983. young 12-year-old Shaun is left wandering aimlessly alone and lost during the start of his school holidays, until his chance meeting with Woody and his fun and friendly Skinhead pack. Finding a new lease of life; girls, young Shaun is welcomed, and life during this summer holiday has got a whole lot better. That is until Combo arrives on the scene. The bitter, dangerous, racist, militant and psychotic gang leader leads Shaun to a major crossroads. This is England is a look back at the early eighties of British working-class life through the eyes of young Shaun and his new gang, and dealing with the bitterness of outside influences such as racism and xenophobia, of mass unemployment and the fall out of the Falkland’s War; Thatcher’s Britain. It contains scenes of disturbingly raw racism, definitely not for the faint-hearted. BAFTE award 2008
Single mother Rosario (Kate del Castillo) leaves her young son Carlitos (Adrian Alonso) in the care of his grandmother and illegally crosses the border into the U.S. Though she hopes to eventually make a better life for herself and her son, she toils in a dead-end job as a cleaning lady in Los Angeles. When Carlitos’ grandmother passes away some years later, the boy begins a difficult and dangerous journey to join her.
It’s a free world, Ken Loach asserts in his latest film with well-practiced disgust and unfortunately little hope. This being a Loach film, it’s also a cruel world, populated by capitalist tools and fools, schemers and dreamers of every stripe, accent and ethnicity. In “It’s a Free World …” it’s the war of all against all yet again, this time with fistfuls of filthy pound notes and mouths crammed with speeches and broken promises. This is well-trodden ground for Mr. Loach, who, at his best, puts a human face on social and political issues (working-class and immigrant rights, among others), giving voice to the often voiceless. The problem is that Mr. Loach and his frequent screenwriter Paul Laverty — whose strongest work remains the 2002 drama “Sweet Sixteen” — have a regrettable habit of speaking for their characters, rather than through them, which undermines their art and politics both. — Manohla Dargis, The New York Times
The film documents severe violations of the rights of Palestinian workers employed in the industrial zone of Mishor Adumim and near Jericho.
The hypocrisy of U.S. immigration policy is underscored by a little-known reality of Mexican migrants in the border city of San Diego.
We have produced an animation illustrating circumstances in which asylum seekers who have had their application turned down find themselves. We would like to use this animation to raise awareness of asylum issues from people who aren’t often confronted with these issues.
The Invisible Mexicans of Deer Canyon is an in depth look at what life is like for millions of undocumented immigrants living in the shadows of American society. The film portrays intimate details of several individual day laborers who live in sub-human conditions amongst multi-million dollar homes.
This 25 minute documentary gives voice to the struggles and dreams of undocumented workers in Canada. Geraldo, a Costa Rican construction worker, and Angela, a second-generation Caribbean domestic worker, struggle against labour exploitation. Against the odds, they work to build a future for families painfully separated by restrictive immigration laws. Viewers meet an often invisible workforce and reflect on the hidden costs of sustaining our first world economy. Borderless is directed by Gemini nominated filmmaker Min Sook Lee. Narration written by Dionne Brand, winner of the 1997 Governor General’s Literary Award. The video comes with a study guide that offers background information, discussion questions, workshop exercises and tips for organizing a community screening.
The daily lives and struggles of four Mexican women interweave with their video letters, carried across the border (by the film’s director) to both loved ones and strangers in the U.S.:
Understanding the current immigration crisis requires more than can be summed up in one article or TV news segment. CROSSING ARIZONA is the only film that tells the story of how we got where we are today from the inside out, through an intimate and far reaching look at the debate as it has developed over two years at its hottest point – along the Arizona/Sonora border – providing context and depth to the news headlines. Heightened security along the Texas and California borders funnels an estimated 4,500 undocumented migrants, most traveling on foot, into remote sectors of the Arizona desert on a daily basis. The perilous journey, which can take up to four days, has led to the deaths of thousands of migrants. The influx of migrants and rising death toll has elicited impassioned responses and complicated feelings about human rights, culture, class and national security. Through the eyes of frustrated ranchers, local activists, desperate migrants, and the Minutemen who’ve become darlings of the national media, CROSSING ARIZONA reveals the surprising political stances people take when immigration and border policy fails everyone.
Documentary, written and directed by Daniel Groody, “Dying to Live” is a profound look at the human face of the immigrant. It explores who these people are, why they leave their homes and what they face in their journey. Drawing on the insights of Pulitzer Prize winning photographers, theologians, Church and congressional leaders, activists, musicians and the immigrants themselves, this film exposes the places of conflict, pain and hope along the US-Mexico border. It is a reflection on the human struggle for a more dignified life and the search to find God in the midst of that struggle.
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“Rights on the Line: Vigilantes at the Border” exposes the ugly anti-immigrant politics that lurk behind the Minuteman Project – and shows the continuum between official border militarization and vigilante action. This video was shot by human rights activists and residents of border communities. It tells the story of border tensions from the point of view of those affected and reveals the underlying motivations of the vigilantes through interviews and disturbing footage of their nighttime patrols.
UNICEF correspondent Thomas Nybo reports on Moldova’s children growing up without the caring of their parents.
The documentary traces the migrant workers who suffered in detention camps in Malaysia. It tells the stories of those who are still struggling in Malaysia seeking for justice. The documentary reveals the dreams of potential migrant workers and their hope of a better life. This documentary chronicles the quest for survival in and out of detention camps of migrant workers from Bangladesh, India and Indonesia.
A feature length, award-winning documentary that follows several immigrants from Central America and Mexico on an extraordinary and extremely dangerous journey to North America. More than 3,000 Latin Americans a day
embark upon this journey. Less than 300 make it to their destination. Nayo, Milton, Luis, Oscar and Ana are just some of the thousands of people that will join one of the largest migration movements in history. Their motivation is a life with dignity. Their disadvantage is that neither of them have legal traveling documents.
Follow FRONTLINE/World reporter Claudine LoMonaco as she retraces the tragic journey of Matias Garcia, a chili pepper farmer from a small Zapotec Indian village in the state of Oaxaca, Mexico, who crossed the border looking for work and died in the Arizona desert.
Renowned filmmaker Chantal Akerman shifts her focus between the border towns of Agua Prieta, Sonora, where people from all over Mexico wait in limbo before crossing over, and neighboring Douglas, Arizona, a town ringed by mountains and desert plains.
For years, immigrants passed through San Diego. But now the INS, using cutting edge technologies developed during the Vietnam War and perfected for the Gulf War, has managed to quell the flow of illegals there. This leaves only the mountains and deserts of Arizona for those desperate enough to try their luck.
In THE SPECTRE OF HOPE Sebastião Salgado joins Berger to pore over Salgado’s collection “Migrations.” Six years and 43 countries in the making (ranging across Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe and Latin America), “Migrations” contains photographs of people pushed from their homes and traditions to cities and their margins – slums and streets and refugee camps.
Sitting at the kitchen table of Berger’s home in the Swiss Alps, their intimate conversation, intercut with photographs from “Migrations,” combines a discussion of Salgado’s work with a critique of globalization, and a wide-ranging investigation of the power of the image.
UPROOTED: Refugees of the Global Economy is a compelling documentary about how the global economy has forced people to leave their home countries. UPROOTED presents three stories of immigrants who left their homes in Bolivia, Haiti, and the Philippines after global economic powers devastated their countries, only to face new challenges in the United States. These powerful stories raise critical questions about U.S. immigration policy in an era when corporations cross borders at will.
Establishing a foundation for “Escuela,” this provocative documentary is the first by Hannah Weyer to chronicle the Luis family and their struggles as a migrant farm workers. Profiling the 22-year old Elizabeth Luis (Liliana’s sister) during the weeks leading up to her wedding, “La Boda” unfolds the challenges and sacrifices faced by Mexican-American girls who labor as seasonal agricultural workers. Relevant for conversations dealing with cultural identity and the US Latino experience, “La Boda” presents an aspect of the American experience that few teens ever see or encounter.
This award-winning documentary examines the lives of women migrant workers from Mexico and Central America as they work in grape, strawberry and cherry harvests in California and the Pacific Northwest. Interviews with women farm workers reveal the dangerous health effects of pesticides on themselves and their children, the problems they encounter as working mothers of young children, and the destructive consequences of U.S. immigration policies on the unity of their families. Featuring an interview with Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers Union.