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FILMS ABOUT IMMIGRANTS

by Kenji
WE ARE ALL ONE. This millennium there has been mass migration and, at least in many European countries, a rise in hostile and Fascist reactions to incomers and others like Romanies perceived as outsiders anyway. In the UK, immigrants have frequently been scapegoated rather than the causes of economic and social problems being addressed. As the EU has opened up, attitudes have often seemed more closed, while opportunities emerged for unscrupulous and criminals, preying on innocent people wanting a better life. Wars took their toll, with refugees and dispossessed in Iraq numbering into millions, an issue barely reported in the British media,… Read more

WE ARE ALL ONE.

This millennium there has been mass migration and, at least in many European countries, a rise in hostile and Fascist reactions to incomers and others like Romanies perceived as outsiders anyway. In the UK, immigrants have frequently been scapegoated rather than the causes of economic and social problems being addressed. As the EU has opened up, attitudes have often seemed more closed, while opportunities emerged for unscrupulous and criminals, preying on innocent people wanting a better life. Wars took their toll, with refugees and dispossessed in Iraq numbering into millions, an issue barely reported in the British media, though Syrian refugees have been more on their radar, in mainly negative terms, although the British were partly responsible for their problems. There was further exodus from Afghanistan, previously scarred by wars and oppressive rule. Now Brexit has given a signal that immigrants are not wanted, and in USA (albeit losing the popular vote) Trump has ridden the wave of scapegoating and xenophobia too. It is time the tide of fascism and hatred was turned before it is too late.

Over the years some film-makers have addressed the issue of immigration sensitively and without encouraging negative stereotypes or dehumanising generalisations. Some films like District 9 and Children of Men have had potential with useful or satirical points that got a bit lost i.m.o in the quest for action thrills. Von Trier confronted narrow-minded bigotry in Dogville, which offended many Americans and was seen as an attack on the Fundamentalist Right, but the cap fitted others too. Oshima’s Death by Hanging challenges Japanese attitudes to Koreans (as well as capital punishment and other aspects of the establishment)

Suggestions welcome.

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