The Night I Left America Image

The Night I Left America

By Alan Ng | August 30, 2021

A young boy from Uganda must confront the reality that his “American” dream may soon come to an end in Laki Karavias’ short film, The Night I Left America. But, bear in mind, Karavias’ story is not what you think it is.

Erick Kiyeega plays the teenage Chamagello, who finds himself in Texas with his mother (Lydia Namagembe), awaiting word from U.S. Immigration if their visa will be extended. Chamagello’s dream, ever since he was a child, was to be live in the United States of America, so he’s anxiously awaiting word one way or the other.

“…his ‘American’ dream may soon come to an end…”

Through flashbacks, a younger Chamagello (Steven Kiyingi) in Uganda reads U.S. financial news magazines and listens to tapes about becoming wealthy and fulfilling the American Dream. He is seen lamenting to his father (Henry Tumwesigye) about why they are poor. As parents do, they dispense a solid but subtle dose of reality.

No, The Night I Left America is not a tale of the hotly debated U.S. immigration policies but a sobering tale of what’s truly important in life. It’s a beautiful film with an insightful story to tell. It also inadvertently opens a tiny crack into how the rest of the world views the United States.

The Night I Left America (2021)

Directed and Written: Laki Karavias

Starring: Erick Kiyeega, Lydia Namagembe, Steven Kiyingi, Henry Tumwesigye, etc.

Movie score: 8/10

The Night I Left America Image

"…a sobering tale of what's truly important in life."

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