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The Visitor

22 Nov

In “The Visitor”, I was presented with a whole new perspective on the issues of immigration and asylum for refugees. A college Professor, Walter Vale (played by Richard Jenkins), is based out of town but goes to stay in his New York apartment while he attends a conference. When he lets himself into his own place, he is appalled to find strangers living there. They are illegal immigrants Tarek (by Haas Sleiman), from Syria and Zainab, (by Danai Gurira) from Senegal, who have been tricked into renting the apartment in a scam. Walter reluctantly lets them stay but slowly he finds he actually enjoys their company. Tarek is arrested and put into a detention centre and Walter realizes he is Tarek’s only contact and the only one able to help him. Walter becomes an advocate and his experience is beautifully portrayed. It’s an interesting perspective to see Walter depicted as the alien (he is really The Visitor) in this world that has become so multi-cultural and so changed for immigrants, particularly Muslim immigrants, since 9/11. This understated film is quietly affecting and very good. It will inhabit your thoughts long after the closing credits.

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Posted by on November 22, 2011 in Movies

 

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