I’m very sad that a movie like “The Visitor”, which is a wonderful and melancholy movie about immigration and deportation, could even be made. It’s one thing thinking about repressive countries in far-off lands like Syria, or Saudi Arabia, or North Korea, or many others I barely even know about… but to think that a story could be told about small simple people wanting to play their music and live their lives being flattened by a monolithic government just for the crime of jumping a turnstile in the subway… to think that such a story could be told and set in the United States of America staggers me.
I know the movie is fiction, and I know that the filmmakers had a viewpoint and an opinion to express. But I have to admit, uncomfortably, that the story is at least plausible. Probably similar stories play out daily.
The intersection of the hope expressed by an image of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, and the anger and fear expressed by images of the World Trade Center… at the center is a fear of brown-skinned people, people who “don’t even have an American name”.
I refuse to fear. In its place I feel sad, however.
Wake up, sleeping democracy. The world needs hope again.