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The Visitor

Saw an interesting Dvd the other day.  It was called ‘The Visitor’ http://www.thevisitorfilm.com/.   Basic Story is that Richard Jenkins plays a directionless college economics professor, Walter Vale, plodding away in suburban Conneticut in the latest from the team who brought us The Station Agent. Reluctantly agreeing to stand in for a colleague at a New York City conference, Vale discovers a young couple named Tarek and Zainab have been scammed into illegally renting out his NY flat.  After initially turfing them out, he rescinds when he realizes the pair have nowhere to go.  Tarek warms to Walter and the pair form a friendship which is based in the first place on music.

So much so that Walter accompanies Tarek on one of his many drumming sessions.  However, on returning home, Tarek is stopped by the subway police and arrested under the flimsiest of reasons.  Matters are made worse when it becomes clear Tarek is an illegal immigrant and is taken to a detention centre – Walter is the only one who can visit him during his time inside – and along with Tarek’s mother, they struggle to deal with the reality of the immigration system in America.

It is often argued on economic grounds that immigration is either a good or a bad thing.  While this might not be the most most amazing movie that I have ever seen it did touch on some important economic issues that are worth thinking about.

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