In the context of the modern world, the notions of the United States and immigration, when used in a single sentence, are today unable to convey any positive connotation. State, seemingly embracing the whole variety of cultures, still manages to divide its fellow citizens into the ones who belong here and those who should be grateful for a chance to live on this land. In order to call out the people who stand behind this nonsense, immigrants are now forced to take the media and artistic space to make themselves heard.
specifically for you
for only $16.05 $11/page
One of the vivid examples of such a statement is Jose Antonio Vargas’ film Documented. Being a story of a fellow man who had to feel like an alien in the land he was born and raised, the documentary is full of powerful scenes aiming at opening more hearts. Whether it would be the hearts of the authorities who still live in the Middle Ages or the ones of the fellow residents, the outcome would always be an asset for the state.
However, this, at first sight, quite plain shot from the movie, could make a symbolic quintessence of the immigrants’ perception in the country.
The scene was followed by the Vargas’ story about his surprising win at a “spelling bee” competition, which may symbolically refer to a few common and hurtful misconceptions about immigrants. The first misguiding stereotype is the fact that immigrants are frequently humiliated and discriminated against because of their English level. Language has become one of the key steps toward social acceptance. As M. H. Castillo once noted, “to command the language that is privileged for a specific place is a price we must pay in order to be seen, to be allowed to speak and be heard.” Moreover, the word “indefatigable” itself presupposes a high level of intelligence, which, according to the stigmas, immigrants often lack. Hence, this scene in the movie reflects upon the dozens of ways in which immigrants, being full-right US residents, get humiliated and undermined every minute of their lives.
Castillo, Marcelo Hernandez. “Place, Origin, and Stalks of Corn.” The Best American Poetry, 2016.