BLOOMINGTON, IN -- Indiana University alumnus Roy Germano will return to campus next week for a public screening of The Other Side of Immigration, his award-winning film that explores why Mexicans migrate to the U.S. and what happens to the families and communities they leave behind.
The 55-minute documentary will be shown at 5 p.m. Thursday (March 3) at Whittenberger Auditorium in the Indiana Memorial Union.
Germano, a 2001 IU graduate with a degree in political science, shot, directed and edited the film. Through more than 700 interviews with the families left behind by U.S.-bound migrant workers, it illuminates Mexico's most crippling economic hardships including the effects the North American Free Trade Agreement has on poor farmers, the country's vicious cycle of poverty spurred by a corrupt government, and the social pressures on Mexicans to seek a better way of life.
"I hope those who see my film walk away feeling more connected to a population that they may have misunderstood or not known very much about," Germano says, "realizing that most people -- Mexican or American, citizen or immigrant -- are more similar than we are different, motivated to survive, take care of our families and be recognized for our inherent worth as human beings."
He adds that The Other Side of Immigration is a "film for everyone" -- a highly researched, nonpartisan account of the causes and impacts of undocumented immigration from a perspective rarely covered in the mainstream media, with no "good guys," "bad guys" or "victims."
The film, which grew out of Germano's doctoral dissertation work at the University of Texas, was named a 2011 Notable Video by the American Library Association and has screened at dozens of film festivals, universities and conferences in the U.S. and Europe since 2009.
The IU Bloomington screening is co-sponsored by the Union Board; the departments of Political Science, Anthropology, Criminal Justice, Economics, Latin American and Caribbean Studies and Sociology; the Political and Civic Engagement program and the Dean's Office of the School of Public and Environmental Affairs.
Germano is currently a visiting assistant professor of politics at the New School in New York City and speaks frequently about immigration issues at universities and conferences around the country.