Monday, October 8, 2018

Screenings and discussion: Monday, October 8 at 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. in the Andrew Foster Auditorium and at 7:30 p.m. in Chapel Hall.

In this series, Steve James, co-producer of the acclaimed documentary Hoop Dreams, turns his camera on the struggles of the Nwidor family, Nigerians forced to flee their home due to military oppression. Israel, a former chemical engineer, his wife Ngozi and their two children have been waiting for resettlement for years in a refugee camp in Benin. They share their hopes and humorously acknowledge their exaggerated expectations of new life in America. In their first weeks in low-income housing in Chicago, they are grateful for a dry place to sleep and their first McDonald's hamburgers, but find much of their new world confusing. Both parents struggle with low-paying jobs in the hotel industry, and the expectations of their family in Nigeria to send money home regularly. We watch as their attempts to adapt and succeed crumble at times into despair, but also share with them moments of hope as they struggle to attain their American Dream.

DVD Cover: The New Americans.  Latino man in pale hat, his dark hair has the beginnings of gray, looks directly into the camera.  Behind him is a dry landscape with grass, a distant hill is on one side.

A couple from Nigeria look at a baby the mother is cradling in her arms.  A brick building, iron fence and the hint of an urban street are in the background.

Isreal and Ngozi Nwidor with their son Karm. Courtesy of Kartemquin Films.