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Crossing Over is a multi-character canvas about immigrants of different nationalities struggling to achieve legal status in Los Angeles. The film deals with the border, document fraud, the asylum and green card process, work-site enforcement, naturalization, the office of counter terrorism and the clash of cultures. Written by
Director Wayne Kramer's original cut was 140 minutes long, but despite having the right to final cut, this film's producer agreed to be involved in editing the film down to two hours when Harvey Weinstein allegedly threatened to release the film straight to DVD, and bypass theatrical altogether (Kramer had nothing to do with the re-editing). See more »
Near the beginning of the movie, there is a scene where Harrison Ford's character is booking a prisoner into a detention center for illegal immigrants. In this scene the booking officer is incorrectly wearing the uniform of a CBP Enforcement Officer instead of an ICE Immigration Enforcement Agent. See more »
What do you want me to do?
San Pedro ICE Processing Agent:
Look, it's not my problem.
All I'm asking, Stevens, is did the old man get seen to? He was sweating and shaking when I put him on the bus. He said his arm felt numb.
San Pedro ICE Processing Agent:
Jesus Christ, Brogan, everything is a humanitarian crisis with you. You've signed off on more orders of recognizance than the rest of your unit combined.
Don't give me that shit. The man's about to have a goddamn heart attack. I want him seen to.
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I am an immigration lawyer, albeit an English one. I started my career dealing with asylum cases, family reunions and illegal immigrants. Over the years I have gone on to act for students, entertainers, high net worth individuals and corporate clients. There is little in this field I have not witnessed, from bigotry, to desperation, to the rich trying to take advantage, from immigration officials acting to corruption in my very own profession.
I have to say that this movie explores the issues surrounding immigration extremely well. Forced removal, failed attempts to cheat the system, the motivations for naturalisation (which, as the movie suggests, are not always for the joy of becoming a new citizen) and the general drive of some people to find a better life for their family. I also used to be engaged to an Iranian so I was quite impressed with the portrayal of the Iranian family. I do not mean honour killings, that is not a common thing in wealthy Iranian families, but what often can be is the concept of how one appears to others in the culture and the effect of negative gossip on the reputation of the senior members of the family.
Also, a lot has been made about the 9/11 "sympathiser" storyline. Indeed, there is one reviewer on here who refers to it as disgusting. How laughable. It is perhaps a shame that audiences, particularly American ones it seems, do not actually listening to the dialog. What the character of Taslima says is that she does not agree what they did but she understood the motivation. The movie then cleverly goes on to show the conclusion jumping nature of some Americans, in this instance the immigration official. At the end of the day Taslima's possible terrorist sympathies are left ambiguous, neither confirmed or disproved, and that is why I think a lot of less intelligent viewers jump to the same conclusion that the fictional official does by filling in the blanks that they desire to see because they do not wish to have a dialog about a difficult subject.
The only disappointing part of the movie for me was the Harrison Ford storyline. I didn't feel that any part of it explored any particular immigration related issue until the penultimate scene and I couldn't understand the motivation behind Ford's character. However, that aside I couldn't fault this picture, either in it's script, it's acting or it's direction.
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