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 ...
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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
In Gavin's interview scene, the immigration officer relies on the Rabbi's opinion. The garb and the accent of the Rabbi suggest he is a European Orthodox (probably Lubavich), yet in the end he gives Gavin a card, saying he should come to Temple Bet Sholom. "Temple Bet Sholom" is typically a name for splinter Reform congregations, whose rabbis are mostly American- or Canadian-born (therefore no accent), and wear contemporary clothes. 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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Though there have been many films about the horrors faced by illegal immigrants attempting to get into or stay in the US, few films have addressed the issues on both sides of the table as well as CROSSING OVER. This film probably did not do very well in theatrical release because of the very difficult subject matter with which it confronts the audience: few people who go to the movies to escape the realities of life outside elect to be disturbed. CROSSING OVER, as written and directed by Wayne Kramer, forces us to learn just how treacherous the matter of immigration is on every level - from the border incidents, to document fraud, to worksite enforcement/raiding, to the concept of asylum, to naturalization, the green card process, the problematic office of counter terrorism, and finally to the basic cultural clashes that pit compassionate law officers against red neck raider type officers.
To absorb the intricately woven aspects of the script, a script that addresses immigration issues dealing with Koreans, Africans, Iranians, Australians, Mexicans, and Jewish/atheist Britishers, the audience must pay close attention lest the subtleties are lost in the swirling nonstop drama. Harrison Ford as the compassionate, burned out immigration officer Max Brogan holds the film together as he attempts to make sense of the various irregularities in every aspect of the immigration process. His partner is Iranian American Hamid (a particularly fine performance by Cliff Curtis) who faces family problems with his American born sister and his father who is on the brink of naturalization - one of the many subplots that involves 'honor killing'. Another man Cole Frankel (Ray Liotta is a smarmy role) reveals another view of a 'bad agent' while his wife Denise (Ashley Judd) fights for the rights of an African orphan held for 23 months awaiting sponsorship. A brave Iranian girl Taslima (Summer Bishil) speaks out for the rights of Muslims to be heard and plunges her family into deportation problems. Among the other subplots are stories about a Korean family whose one son (Justin Chon) is forced into gang warfare, an Australian actress (Alice Eve) who must secure her green card through sexual favors with Cole Frankel, a Mexican mother Mireya (Alice Braga) who is captured during a raid at a workplace and befriended by Max Brogan, and young British musician (Jim Sturgess) who must convince authorities of his 'Jewishness' in order to maintain a job that will result in a green card.
Each of these stories represents an aspect of our current dysfunctional system management of immigration. The film does not take sides: it merely presents a smattering of the atrocities and imperfectly managed departments of government that together form a system that is chaotic. Of interest, Sean Penn (listed as being in the cast on this page of Amazon.com) requested his small role be cut because of the objections of Iranian-American groups over the use of the 'honor killing' subplot. That may indicate how many people may view this film: the story will either anger or disgust some viewers. But what this very well acted and produced and directed film does is provide windows through which we may more closely examine the tragedies of our current immigration system. Perhaps change will occur once people are informed of the injustices. Grady Harp
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