It is hard to make a movie about an illegal immigrant and make it a blockbuster. Such stories are better suited for independent movies about Immigration. Migration can be voluntary (for example, moving to another country for education), or it can be forced. In the second case, migration is often the only way to save oneself.
Today, Spanish-speaking Mexicans are almost overwhelmingly present on the U.S. West Coast, and Spanish is the official language in several cities and states. And ten years ago, the process of adaptation of the Mexican immigrant could be made into a heartwarming melodrama. That’s what James L. Brooks did, contrasting in his film “Spanglish” the Mexican, looking for happiness for herself and her little daughter with a family of respectable white people.
A screenplay, tells about hard-working, good Mexicans and the privileged white class. In my opinion, valuable, they concentrate on stereotypes of people who have never lived near the southern border.
If you want to deepen into the topic – read some information on immigration. We recommend looking for writing samples on specialized resources. Such materials help to disclose such a difficult topic fully. A list of movies about illegal Immigration for students that explore the theme of Immigration:
- ‘In America‘ – an Irish family with a tragic past tries to put down roots in Manhattan. More about cultural adjustment than laws, but poignant.
- ‘Babel‘ – technically, only one of the film’s four storylines develops on the Mexican-American border. But what happens there is shown very realistically.
- ‘Immigrants (L.A. Dolce Vita)‘ – an MTV-Esque cartoon from the ’90s. Very politically incorrect but adequately captures the spirit of the immigrant communities. The Russian immigrant Vladislav deserves a separate round of applause.
- ‘Terminal‘ – the film stirs my soul with the image of a would-be immigrant who the government pushes to ask for refugee status, and he resists. A professional yearning for a rare breed of a potential client.
- ‘The Visitor‘ – a university professor returns to his home and discovers that a couple of immigrants have taken residence there. A pretty realistic reflection of the mechanics of American immigration law.
- ‘Moscow on the Hudson‘ – the classics where Immigration is just the context for the story, but it’s the 80s and Robbin Williams there.
- ‘Green Card‘ – plot classics. An immigration scam that develops into true love. But with wine and a summer breeze, you can watch it all the time.
- ‘Crossing Over‘ – is a complex movie with multiple storylines involving immigrants from several countries. There is melodrama and a thriller about fraud, naturalization, sex, and terrorism. Notable that at least one storyline is based on real and publicized events.
- ‘A Better Life‘ – is the kind of movie that operates on stereotypes and tries to beat on pity. A Mexican dad tries to escape deportation and shield his son from the corrupting influence of the street. The legal side of the movie is severely lame, but I was amazed at how accurately the mindset of an illegal immigrant is captured.
- ‘The Yellow Sea‘ – Kunam, originally from North Korea, was forced to go to China to work, where he soon realized the futility of his efforts. A cab driver job does not bring the expected income, and the guy is in deep debt to a crime boss and his gang, who organized his wife’s trip to South Korea. The mob boss gets tired of waiting for his negligent client to pay off his debt, so he immediately agrees when Kunam receives an opportunity to work off the borrowed money.
The Criminal Component of the Problem
Now let us return to the criminal component of the problem of displacement of peoples. The isolated residence, lack of communication with the local population, financial needs, and the overall unsettledness often push migrants into the clutches of organized crime. It is better to harm your people than fight for good and happiness with strange strangers. Hence numerous ethnic criminal groups exist in almost every major city with ethnic neighborhoods.
In the immigration movies Pierre Morel’s “Taken”, Liam Neeson’s character encountered just such “outsider” criminals-immigrant Albanians in Paris. For anyone else, the kidnapping of his daughter by “human traffickers” would be a fatal tragedy, but not for Brian Mills. He is a former secret service member and knows how to find and put the overzealous gangsters in their place.
These movies will not let you be indifferent by no means. But watch carefully so as not to get overwhelmed with poor immigrant journeys.