In production

With Wings and Roots

Terrorist. Job-snatcher. Illegal. Foreign. Exotic. Taunts and sentiments all too familiar to the five young adults in New York and Berlin featured in the 90-min documentary film and transmedia project, WITH WINGS AND ROOTS. Set in two global migration cities on different continents, Miman, Sonny, Derya, Tania, and Akim are children of immigrants, whose parents hail from Bolivia, India, Turkey, Macedonia, and Vietnam. Often considered outsiders in both mainstream society and their “own” communities, they must grapple with the pressure to assimilate on one hand, or “preserve” their cultures on the other.

How can you be yourself as the only non-German on a staff of 80 people? How do you pass on Roma traditions when your partner has a different background? How can you plan your future when you you’ve been denied citizenship in your only home and cannot legally work? These are the types of questions of belonging that the protagonists must face in their daily lives.

As they navigate different circumstances, they switch between languages and cultural codes, and their identities and notions of home evolve. They each come from different backgrounds, but what these five share is a critical perspective, and an interest in contributing towards social change. WITH WINGS AND ROOTS shows not only their struggles, but also their strengths, their commitment to family and community, and their determination to build more inclusive societies. Although migration is a global reality, it remains one of the most controversial political issues across Europe and North America. An increasingly diverse young generation is coming of age at a time of polarization and media stereotyping.

WITH WINGS AND ROOTS responds to this generation’s need for new representations and dialogue on identity and migration. Shifting the focus from “integration problems”, borders, and clashing cultures, the project shares the stories of insightful children of immigrants who are pushing against expectations using their art, activism, and everyday lives. In the process, they echo the underrepresented voices of millions of young people on both sides of the Atlantic.
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