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Upcoming Events › Film

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July 2018
Destination America Poster

Film: Destination America

7 pm

July screenings in the Bank of America Free Thursday Film Series continue Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series on our Immigration Experience. This six-week series is a project of City Lore, a cultural center for the arts and humanities based in New York City. It is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of NEH’s Community Conversations initiative, and features documentary film screenings and scholar-led discussions designed to encourage an informed discussion of immigration issues against the backdrop of our immigration history.

The National Hispanic Cultural Center is one of 24 organizations selected nationwide to participate in the Becoming American project. The scholar/moderator for the screenings and discussions at the Center is Dr. Gabriel Sanchez, Professor of Political Science at the University of New Mexico. The theme for Unit Four, presented on July 26, is “Help Wanted: Immigration and Work.”

“If you could get here, you could stay.” In Episode 1, “The Golden Door,” of Destination America, historians Donna Gabaccia and Janet Nolan provide an historical context for America’s long-conflicted relationship with immigrant labor. The film focuses on three groups: the Irish, who fled starvation at home in the mid-19th century and penetrated the urban workforce and helped build America’s railroads; the Norwegians, who came to farm the Midwest when land ran out in their country; and the Mexicans, many of whom were recruited by American industry in the 1920s as labor for American mills and factories, and then expelled when no longer needed.
2005; Stephen Stept and David Grubin; English; 54 minutes; not rated.
Free ticketed event; tickets available one hour before show

August 2018
My American Girls poster

Film: My American Girls

7 pm

August screenings in the Bank of America Free Thursday Film Series conclude Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series on our Immigration Experience. This six-week series is a project of City Lore, a cultural center for the arts and humanities based in New York City. It is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of NEH’s Community Conversations initiative, and features documentary film screenings and scholar-led discussions designed to encourage an informed discussion of immigration issues against the backdrop of our immigration history.

The National Hispanic Cultural Center is one of 24 organizations selected nationwide to participate in the Becoming American project. The scholar/moderator for the screenings and discussions at the Center is Dr. Gabriel Sanchez, Professor of Political Science at the University of New Mexico. The theme for Unit Five, presented on August 9, is “Family and Community.”

Filmed over the course of a year, this documentary follows the family of Sandra and Bautista Ortiz, hardworking immigrants living frugally in a multi-family house in Brooklyn, who dream of retiring to their native Dominican Republic. Their American-born and acculturated daughters have other ideas altogether. The conflict between the first generation’s values — attachment to their homeland, discipline and strong work ethic, clarity of goals and emphasis on family – and the independent outlook of their three girls form the moving and often humorous dramatic spine of the film.
2001; Aaron Matthews; English; 62 minutes; not rated.
Free ticketed event; tickets available one hour before show

The Search for General Tso poster1

Film: The Search for General Tso

7 pm

August screenings in the Bank of America Free Thursday Film Series conclude Becoming American: A Documentary Film and Discussion Series on our Immigration Experience. This six-week series is a project of City Lore, a cultural center for the arts and humanities based in New York City. It is funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities as part of NEH’s Community Conversations initiative, and features documentary film screenings and scholar-led discussions designed to encourage an informed discussion of immigration issues against the backdrop of our immigration history.

The National Hispanic Cultural Center is one of 24 organizations selected nationwide to participate in the Becoming American project. The scholar/moderator for the screenings and discussions at the Center is Dr. Gabriel Sanchez, Professor of Political Science at the University of New Mexico. The theme for Unit Six, presented on August 23, is “Immigration and Popular Culture.”

As much an immigration history as a culinary detective story, this ebullient documentary uses the ubiquitous Americanized dish, General Tso’s Chicken, as a lens onto a larger story of immigration, adaptation, and innovation to American popular culture. Early on, the film poses the question, “If Chinese Americans comprise only 1% of the U.S. population, why are there Chinese restaurants in almost every city across America?” The filmmakers seek the answer in a journey through the Chinese American experience from the Gold Rush and the building of the railroads to the age of Panda Express. On-air historians, chefs, writers, and enthusiasts provide accounts of the history of Chinese migration to America; the discriminatory 1880s Chinese Exclusion Act that forced emigrants out of the labor market and into small business ownership; the modification of “exotic” Chinese cuisine for American tastes; and the role of Chinese American community organizations in the dissemination of restaurants to the far corners of the nation to avoid competition and discrimination on the West Coast.
2014; Ian Cheney; English; 57 minutes; not rated.
Free ticketed event; tickets available one hour before show

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