All posts by Julie Mattern

By Blood

By Blood

A film by Marcos Barbery & Sam Russell
53 minutes, color, USA, 2015
DVD includes: Closed Captions, Chapter Markers, Bonus Scenes

File under: African American, All Films, Civil Rights, Homepage, Law, Native American, New Release, Slavery, U.S. History

Synopsis

Americans are familiar with the removal of Cherokees in the infamous “Trail of Tears” but the involvement of African American slaves is far less known. When the U.S. Indian Removal Act forced Native Americans to relinquish their native land and move west, countless slaves followed them into the frontier, bound and shackled. In 1866, after U.S.lawmakers amended the Constitution to bar slavery, the Cherokee Nation entered in to a treaty with the federal government, granting perpetual freedom and full tribal membership to Cherokee slaves and their descendants as newly minted Cherokee members called the “Freedmen.”

150 years later, the Cherokee and Seminole Nations, now wealthy tribes with land, casinos and business holdings, continue to deny tribal rights to Freedmen descendants arguing that they are not members of their tribe “by blood.”

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Remittance

Remittance

A film by Patrick Daly & Joel Fendelman
90 minutes, color, USA, 2015
DVD includes: Closed Captions, Chapter Markers, Bonus Scenes

File under: All Films, Film Studies, Homepage, Human Rights, Labor Studies, New Release, South East Asia, Women Studies

Academic Reviews

Remittance provides an intimate look at the lives of migrant domestic workers in Singapore and captures the hardships that confront them in their struggle to financially get ahead as well as the perseverance of their sacrifice to support their families. Not unlike other domestic workers, Marie leaves behind her children and unemployed husband for Singapore in hopes of earning sufficient savings to eventually open a business in the Philippines. Yet, one hurdle after another confronts her including the deduction of eight months of her wages to cover the entire cost of her migration to Singapore and the squandering of her earnings by a womanizing husband. Yet, Marie perseveres, moonlighting at a bar in the evenings, acquiring skills in weekend classes at the local church, and taking business management courses for domestic workers. But does she eventually prevail?

Remittance should be viewed by anyone interested in the plight of migrant women workers. It is a must-see for students of labor, migration, and economic globalization.

Rhacel Salazar Parreñas, Professor, University of Southern California
Author of “Servants of Globalization: Migration and Domestic Work”

Remittance is a quiet, unpretentious feature film that manages to relay the lived experience of being an overseas Filipino worker (OFWs) in a sober yet sympathetic light. Without narration, the film portrays in vignettes the quotidian complexities faced by migrant laborer’s as it follows the main character Marie’s plight as a domestic worker in Singapore. Along the way, we catch glimpses of the lives of other migrant laborer’s, including non-Filipinos, and the variety of circumstances and choices they may face.

As an accompaniment to coursework related to labor migration, Remittance is on point as it humanizes migrant laborer’s and makes the experience “real” in a way that academic readings and lectures cannot. Especially notable is the choice of the filmmakers to cast actual migrant workers in lead roles, including the central character of Marie. Having migrant domestic workers dramatize their own experience gives this film a documentary feel and a level of ‘street credibility’ that resonates deeply with students.”

Oona Paredes, Assistant Professor, University of Singapore

 

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