Under the Same Moon

Center of Concern | Wed, May 7, 2008

Source: Center of Concern
If you have not seen the movie Under the Same Moon, I encourage you to not miss this one. This movie puts a “human face” on immigrants, allowing us to see their humanity. It also allows us to enter into the story of immigrants, providing us with an understanding of the immigration issue that transcends much of the blather we have been hearing from many a politician and pundits who can only provide us with a simplistic focus on the “legal” status of immigrants.

The movie review by Daniel M. Kimmel in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette concisely summarizes the human dimensions of the issue: “Mexicans are not some alien species. They are people who are already part of our economy, even if they are undocumented… they want the same things we do: a decent job, a safe home and the love of family.”

The movie also puts the emphasis on the importance of family, as have Pope Benedict in his recent discussion with President Bush at the White House and the U.S. Catholic bishops in their statements concerning the issue of immigration. In the story, the family is separated because of the mother’s immigration to the United States in an effort to find work—she works as an illegal domestic in Los Angeles--and provide her son, living in Mexico with his grandmother until she dies, with a better life. The heartbreak of family separation caused by immigration is clearly portrayed in this poignant story of a young boy’s perilous journey to be reunited with his mother in the United States. There are many heroes and villains along the way—the young boy finds benefactors in his quest to be united with his mother, but there are also mean-spirited individuals who impede his journey.

However, what I found to be most moving and surprising about the story was the happiness, love, and fellowship that already existed among these very poor people portrayed in the movie and the sacrifices they were willing to make for one another. (I have seen this same fellowship and love at soup kitchens.) In their poverty, they had, in my opinion, what many of the well-heeled long for but cannot seem to attain with wealth and success.

The movie provides an understanding of the dignity of immigrants that perhaps can be conveyed most effectively through entering into their story. This film will allow you to do just that.

Submitted by Bob Stewart, Ignatian Volunteer