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July 27-29, 2007 National Grassroots Immigrant Strategy Conference
University of Richmond School of Law, Richmond, VA.

Tel: (202)595-8990


Immigrant Film Festival
List of Films

Sentenced Home

DIRECTOR: David Grabias, Nicole Newnham
Producer: David Grabias, Nicole Newnham
Editor: Amy Young, Victor Livingston
Screenwriter: David Grabias, Nicole Newnham
Cinematographer: Howard Shack
Music: Quincy Griffin

Official Website | Preview

Putting a human face on controversial immigration policy, SENTENCED HOME follows three young Cambodian Americans through the deportation process. Raised in inner city Seattle, they pay an unbearable price for mistakes they made as teenagers. Caught between their tragic pasts and an uncertain future, each young man confronts a legal system that offers no second chances.

As part of a large group of Cambodian refugees admitted to the U.S. in the early 1980s, the deportees and their families found asylum in Seattle’s grim public housing projects and hoped for a piece of the American dream. But, as “permanent residents,” the refugees were not afforded the same protections as American citizens. Under strict anti-terrorism legislation enacted in 1996, even minor convictions can result in automatic deportation. For some, this means being permanently separated from families and homes because of a minor offense—such as the case of Loeun Lun, who fired a gun in the air as a teenager to protect himself from a gang attack.

Told through interweaving stories, in the voices of the deportees, their families and friends, SENTENCED HOME explores what it’s like to be deported along with the social, historical and political reasons behind the deportees’ fate. Along with family man Loeun Lun, who fights to stay together with his wife and children from behind bars and across oceans, audiences will meet former gang member Kim Ho Ma, who struggles to come to terms with his identity in a country he doesn’t understand. Also introduced is an introspective Many Uch, who looks to redeem himself by taking advantage of what time he has left in the U.S. to give today’s Cambodian American youth something he never had—the ability to play little-league baseball.

Reel Bad Arabs

by: Dr. Jack G. Shaheen
Director: Sut Jhally
Media Education Foundation

Official Website | Preview

This groundbreaking documentary dissects a slanderous aspect of cinematic history that has run virtually unchallenged form the earliest days of silent film to today's biggest Hollywood blockbusters. Featuring acclaimed author Dr. Jack Shaheen, the film explores a long line of degrading images of Arabs--from Bedouin bandits and submissive maidens to sinister sheikhs and gun-wielding "terrorists"--along the way offering devastating insights into the origin of these stereotypic images, their development at key points in US history, and why they matter so much today.

Shaheen shows how the persistence of these images over time has served to naturalize prejudicial attitudes toward Arabs and Arab culture, in the process reinforcing a narrow view of individual Arabs and the effects of specific US domestic and internationl policies on their lives. By inspiring critical thinking about the social, political, and basic human consequences of leaving these Hollywood caricatures unexamined, the film challenges viewers to recognize the urgent need for counter-narratives that do justice to the diversity and humanity of Arab people and the reality and richness of Arab history and culture.



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