New Immigrant and Refugee Visions (NIRV) – Screen&Discuss Topics
- Immigrant contributions;
- Refugees in America;
- Immigrant women and families;
- Acculturation and assimilation by immigrants and refugees;
- Faith among immigrants and freedom from persecution for refugees;
- Immigration policy
- Immigrants at work
- Immigrant origins: Africa, Asia, the Caribbean
Cultural enrichment and inclusion:
Two of the films demonstrate how new immigrants create a richer cultural life for all of us and bring us together into more diverse and inclusive communities.
- Rhythms of Respect, by Katsyris Rivera-Kientz – about a Puerto Rican cultural activist;
- Lift with Your Heart, by Braulio Tellez-Vilches – about a Haitian healing with dance;
- Campaign for a New American, by Qin Li – about the daughter of an Indian immigrant running for city council;
Faith and healing:
- Borrowing Fire, by Kebrewosen Densamo – an Ethiopian evangelical minister helping his community.
Three of the NIRV films are about refugees:
- Navigating Hope, by Afghan refugee Sayed Najib Hashimi – about a Christian refugee from Bhutan;
- Worlds Apart at Home, by Somali refugee Abdirahman Abdi – about Somali refugees dealing with cultural divisions between generations;
- Seeking Settled Ground, by Mohammad Arifuzzaman – about a newly arrived Rohingya refugee.
Three of the films tell immigrant women’s stories and three are made by immigrant women:
By and about immigrant women:
- Campaign for a New American, by women studies scholar, activist and mother Qin Li, from China – about a first-generation Indian daughter campaigning for city council in a racially charged environment;
About immigrant women:
- She’s an American Child, by Rafael DeLeon – about the psychological and logistical challenges facing an undocumented Dominican mother and her DACA designated daughter;
- Worlds Apart at Home, by Abdirahman Abdi – about a Somali mother and activist working to maintain religious and cultural traditions while accommodating her teenage daughter’s desire to play basketball.
By immigrant women:
- Borrowing Fire, by Kebrewosen Densamo, who has a special understanding of the challenges for youth in migration, having come to the United States as a young girl. Her film is about a fellow Ethiopian immigrant who helps his community as a preacher and businessman.
- Rhythms of Respect, by Katsyris Rivera-Kientz, a female scholar and activist focused on issues of her native Puerto Rico’s cultural identity and political and economic relationship with the United States. Her film is charged with the vibrant dance and music of fellow Puerto Rican cultural activist and educator, Jorge Arce.
How do immigrants young and old, parents and children, newly arrived and first generation — maintain traditions from the country of origin and embrace American culture; preserve one’s identity and integrate; isolate within one’s own culture of origin or interact with American and other immigrant cultures.
- Worlds Apart at Home, by Abdirahman Abdi – about Somali refugees dealing with cultural divisions between generations;
- Campaign for a New American, by Qin Li – about an Indian immigrant letting go of her motherly expectations and supporting her daughter’s political ambitions;
- Seeking Settled Ground, by Mohammad Arifuzzaman – about the unimaginable economic, social and cultural integration challenges experienced by a newly arrived Rohingya refugee.
- Pulse of a Dream, by Mubarak Muwonge Nsamba, Navigating Hope, by Sayed Najib Hashimi and The Arranger, by Wilson Thelimo Louis, provide very different experiences of how immigrant ethnic groups support and sometimes segregate themselves in places and employment sectors;
- Borrowing Fire, by Kebrewosen Densamo, pulses with the power of faith. Charismatic evangelical preacher, Yonas Badi, recently emigrated from Ethiopia, started a ministry in his petrol station and helps people in his community recover from addiction, depression and homelessness.
- Navigating Hope, by Sayed Najib Hashimi, Seeking Settled Ground, by Mohammad Arifuzzaman and Worlds Apart at Home, by Abdirahman Abdi, each demonstrate the fundamental and grounding importance of faith – in all forms – to the well being of immigrants and refugees – especially for those escaping from religious persecution.
- She’s an American Child, by Rafael DeLeon – Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), protected the daughter of an undocumented mother. What will happen now? Will one or both be deported? Will the daughter end up in the country she has not set foot in since she was five years old?
- Seeking Settled Ground, by Mohammad Arifuzzaman, Navigating Hope by Sayed Najib Hashimi and Worlds Apart at Home, by Abdirahman Abdi, demonstrate the life-changing impact of US refugee policy. What is the impact of the US government and states like Texas reducing the numbers or banning refugees from entering the US?
How do new immigrants and refugees adjust to work life in America and contribute to the economy and workforce. For many the image of the American dream that they came with is very different than the American economic and social reality they face once they arrive.
- Pulse of a Dream, by Mubarak Muwonge Nsamba; Mubarak and his wife just arrived with their four children from Uganda and need work. Their Ugandan community helps them get jobs in home health care but what about the professions they were trained in, IT and library sciences?
- Borrowing Fire, by Kebrewosen Densamo; Yonas, a recent immigrant from Ethiopia, is a business man with a religious zeal. He is a evangelical pastor and the owner of a gas station and coffee shop – all put to the use of helping his community.
- Worlds Apart at Home, by Abdirahman Abdi – by and about Somali refugees;
- Pulse of a Dream, by Mubarak Muwonge Nsamba – by and about Ugandan immigrants;
- Borrowing Fire, by Kebrewosen Densamo – by and about Ethiopian immigrants;
- Campaign for a New American, by Qin Li from China and about Indian immigrants;
- Navigating Hope, by Afghan refugee Sayed Najib Hashimi and about Bhutanese refugees;
- Seeking Settled Ground, by Mohammad Arifuzzaman from Bangladesh and about a Rohingya refugee from Myanmar;
- She’s an American Child, by Rafael DeLeon – by and about Dominican immigrants;
- Lift with Your Heart, by Cuban refugee Braulio Tellez-Vilches about a Haitian immigrant;
- The Arranger, by Wilson Thelimo Louis – by and about Haitian immigrants;
- Rhythms of Respect, by Katsyris Rivera-Kientz – by and about people from Puerto Rico.