November 8, 2021

New immigrants document the lives of others new to the US

by joeyphoenix

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From The House of the Seven Gables

See and hear the experiences of two immigrants new to Massachusetts on Wednesday, November 10, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Choreographer Jean Appolon, originally from Haiti, and Mani Biswas, who lived for 17 years in a refugee camp, tell their stories to other recent immigrants who documented their transitions to life in this country. A conversation follows the screenings. The House of the Seven Gables offers this event without charge to attendees, though a $10 donation is much appreciated. Register here.

New Immigrant and Refugee Visions, founded by Community Supported Films (CSF), is a series of 10-minute documentaries made by recent immigrants to Massachusetts. The team at CSF in Boston worked with immigrants to provide them with the skills and equipment they needed to write and film others new to this country. The documentaries they produced are deeply affecting and a keen reminder of the elation and the struggles new immigrants grapple with daily.

The short documentaries are:

“Lift with Your Heart”

Choreographer Jean Appolon struggled for years to find a sense of belonging in his native Haiti and in the United States. He discovered his purpose when he began teaching dance to community members of all ages and backgrounds. He finds dance heals and engages others in the celebration of cultural diversity. Braulio Tellez-Vilches is the filmmaker.

“Navigating Hope”

Mani Biswas lived in a refugee camp for 17 years and now works with other refugees who navigate the challenges of integration into their new country and culture.