Report on Enemy Alien Screenings & Outreach, Winter 2011-2012
October 24, 2011
It was a real honor to have Enemy Alien included in a film festival devoted to Palestinians, to be included among Mohammad Bakri’s latest film Zahara which I was able to catch the night before my own screening.
It was my first time in Toronto. That day I had a reunion with the family who were subjects of my 2005 short documentary Rising Up: The Alams. It was amazing to see how much the family had accomplished in seven years since being forced to leave the U.S. as a consequence of the blatantly racist Special Registration (NSEERS) program.
Sultana Jahangir (known as Moni Alam in the documentary) started an organization called South Asian Women’s Rights Organization (SAWRO) which provides resources and training for immigrant women in Toronto.
From Toronto I took the Amtrak to Buffalo where I was held up for two hours at Niagara by Customs and Border Patrol agents, who took a man off my car to be detained.
I was picked up by attorney Joanne Macri (she got Farouk Abdel-Muhti out of solitary confinement) and whisked off to University of Buffalo to present Enemy Alien to law students from her course in immigration law there. Though Joanne had warned me it was a quiet class, some of whom were planning to work for the U.S. government, they were very responsive to the film.
Through conversations with her as we ran around from place to place, and later at dinner with her and her colleagues I learned a lot about what has been happening in the vicinity and across the U.S., how law enforcement has been using the pretext of rooting out "illegals" to unlawfully search and detain innocent people.
We also talked about the bigger picture of Endgame, the 10-year Homeland Security strategic plan for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Detention and Removal Operations (DRO). Some of the things we talked about I'm looking into further and incorporating in a research paper I've been writing as part of my graduate studies in sociology at Brooklyn College.
Also on October 15 Enemy Alien was screened at the 59th annual meeting of the New York State Sociological Association. I wasn't able to attend, unfortunately.
Next screening is on February 12 in Vancouver. I'm also excited to report that the Japanese American National Museum will be screening Enemy Alien on Saturday, September 8. Other screenings are in the works. More info soon.
November 18, 2012
October 20, 2012
July 28, 2012
July 9, 2012