Citizen or Stranger?,
Citizen or Stranger? is about one of the most important issues of our time: immigration. It drives the headlines, the emotions and much of the political conversation around the world.
Mass migration is a fact of global life, and with the decline in birth rates in the developed world immigrants are badly needed. By the end of the first decade of the new century thirty three million people were on the move seeking a country to live in. Many have their hopes set on a handful of developed countries. But how should these newcomers be treated once they arrive?
Should immigrants be encouraged to bring along their culture as they can in Canada and Britain – or should they be pushed to assimilate more quickly, as in France, Denmark or Holland? Should we make it easy for them to become citizens with the right to stay permanently, as in the U.S. and Canada? Or is it better to keep immigrants as outsiders and guest workers, at least for a generation or two, as they do in countries like Germany and Austria? What policies help countries feel safe – and newcomers fit in?
Our film will try to answer these questions by following one extended global family originally from Somalia which has been forced out their country and scattered over the world. We will travel the many branches of this family tree to see how each has thrived in their new country.
Have they found decent work or been pushed to the bottom rung? Have they experienced much racism? Which countries have made them feel most welcome – and which have fostered alienation and resentment? Many family members have had very different experiences, in part because the countries they went to have very different ideas and policies on how to absorb new immigrants.
Are there countries where they have gained a sense of belonging? What system creates a citizen, instead of a stranger?