Distributed by Janson Media, 88 Semmons Road, Harrington Park, NJ 07640; 201-784-8488
Produced by Arnd Wachter, Crossing Borders Films
Directed by Arnd Wachter
DVD, color, 72 min.
Jr. High - General Adult
Sociology, Multiculturalism, Diversity, Travel, Nationalism, Clashing of Cultures, Media Portrayal of News, Human Rights
Reviewed by Malcolm L. Rigsby, Department of Sociology and Human Services, Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Arkansas
Date Entered: 6/4/2012
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to take off and travel to another part of the world, meet some new people of your own age, and travel their country with them? How about reversing the previously described roles and suppose some people from another part of the world come to your country and travel your land with you? Now, add the supposition that in either case both your and their county’s media has portrayed “the other” people not in terms of human needs and desires, but in terms of politics and governmental nationalism. All of you have an inaccurate understanding of the human side of “the other.” Rather, you have misconceptions about the other group’s religion, fears, loves, and needs; in short, you don’t understand their culture and who they are as fellow human beings. You and they are fearful, apprehensive, indifferent, and perhaps hold anger toward each other. Conversely, stigma controls your and their perceptions of “the other.”
Mark Twain said that open-minded travel is the best medicine to breaking prejudice. As we see in this film travel is a given. The obstacle is often “open mindedness.” In Crossing Borders, eight university students have the opportunity to seek better lives through bearing their desires and love in a compassionate way by talking and communicating with each other. We travel Morocco with four Moroccan students and four American students. We are enabled to get into the deepest understanding of each of these eight students. We hear intimate interviews with each as they share who they are. We are invited into roundtable discussions as they talk about family, poverty, affluence, desires of life, their love, their religion, and their dreams. Sometimes the discussion is tense due to misunderstandings, other times we join in the laughter and fun as they break stigma down and come to realize humans and humanity have a commonality that should surpass nationalism and politics. Their trip is one of learning to appreciate the need for open-mindedness and respect for others.
Supplement this film with the use of the extra features that accompany the DVD. View the online film trailer on the Janson Films YouTube Channel.
- Winner, Illinois International Film Festival, 2009
- Honolulu Film Festival Winner, 2010