Crossing Borders Film and the Wisdom of Rodney King

In these challenging times, Crossing Borders continues to be a film that I consider a “must see.” Crossing Borders documents four American study abroad students who visit Morocco to meet four local students. This film magically creates the opportunity for viewers to discuss how we perceive others who are different, giving us a framework to examine how young people work through some tense conversations and long standing stereotypes. We live in a world that increasingly rushes to equate Muslim with “terrorist” and this film addresses Islamophobia head on.

The film’s Director, Arnd Wächter, has asked me to share the following information with Melibee Global readers:

* Crossing Borders will be screened at several regional NAFSA (Association of International Education) conferences this fall.  In addition, it may be screened online, for free, through October 10th at vimeo. Simply click here and then enter the password “mutear 2010” (do not include the quotes).

* The Crossing Borders Film website has been updated. Please share it with anyone who may be interested!

* Crossing Borders recently won “Best Documentary” at the Los Angeles Global Film Festival. (Congrats Arnd!) 🙂

* Educational Screenings are available!  ”Crossing Borders” is the key tool for the “Intercultural Awareness Initiative” –  Crossing Borders Education has partnered with organizations (such as Search for Common Ground, Institute of Economics and Peace, Soliya/UNAoC, etc.) in order to create powerful intercultural events at campuses across the US.  Educators are invited to utilize a screening of “Crossing Borders” as a transformative intercultural campus event. It is a PERFECT event for November’s International Education Week. These screening events aim to deepen intercultural awareness at campuses and inspire cross-cultural empathy in a post-9/11 world. (The 3 minute film trailer can be viewed at  If you are interested in a screening of Crossing Borders, please visit the website and contact Arnd and his team at: [email protected].

My previous post was about the journey of Aman Ali and Bassam Tariq from the project. In my opinion, having a screening of Crossing Borders and then having Aman and Bassam speak on your campus (or in your community) is an ideal way to set the stage for authentic dialogue about the increasing anger that is being directed toward the Muslim community. Aman and Bassam have seen Arnd’s film – they watched it in the car on the long stretches between cities on the 30 roadtrip during Ramadan, and they believe in the film’s potential for increasing interfaith dialogue that we are so anxiously in need of in the US.

Feel free to contact me if I can help to facilitate any opportunity for dialogue about this important issue on your campus or in your community. I am in touch with Arnd, Aman and Bassam regularly and promise to do my best to bring these educational tools to your students and community. Why is this important? Perhaps Rodney King said it best when he tried to calm the city of Los Angeles down during the riots: “Can we all get along? Can we stop making it, making it horrible for the older people and the kids?…It’s just not right. It’s not right. Please, we can get along here. We all can get along. I mean, we’re all stuck here for a while. Let’s try to work it out. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to beat it. Let’s try to work it out.”

Frankly, I believe we have no other choice!