We all share something in common. We’re all products of migration, migration has always occurred. It should be embraced as people of diaspora have the most to pass on.
Typically, I would associate the term ‘crossover’ with television and film. However, not in the cultural sense but in the literal sense. For example, the upcoming crossover between Fox’s New Girl and Brooklyn Nine-Nine (very excited for October!) or any of Marvel’s Avengers films, where Thor interacts with Hulk within the same universe. Crossover films aren’t simply limited to this though as a crossover can occur culturally as well.
Film, from Bollywood to Hollywood, to independent or ‘art house’ – is a vital medium in sharing stories of diasporic societies as it can obtain such a wide audience. Whether fictitious or factual narratives, directors can connect to audiences on an emotional level by using the topic of migration within their storylines.
Migrant cinema can be broken into three sub-categories:
- Transnational cinema
- Migrant film
- Diasporic film
Diasporic film in particular can be defined as films made by people who have family heritage elsewhere than the country they currently live; the children and grandchildren of migrants not the migrants themselves. Fatih Akin, a film director best known for his films – Short Sharp Shock (1998), Solino (2002) and Head-On (2004) is an example of this. Akin was born in Germany with Turkish descent.
Written by Ayub Khan-Din, a Pakistani man who grew up in Lancashire, England, East is East (1999) is a film where two brothers struggle to grow up with their traditional Pakistani family values whilst still trying to be young in the 1970s. It reflects the cultural barriers that come with balancing multiple ethnicities. East is East (1999) allows for humour to stem through whilst communicating the value of ‘hybrid content’. Other mainstream examples include Bride and Prejudice (2004), Bend it like Beckham (2002) and My Big Fat Greek Wedding (2002).
With the increasing production of diasporic films, we all can be greater entertained and educated about cultures other than our own.
- Berghahn, Daniela 2006, ‘No place like home? or impossible homecomings in the films of Fatih Akin’, New cinemas: journal of contemporary film, vol. 4, no. 3, pp. 141-157
- Khorana 2013, ‘Crossover cinema: a conceptual and genealogical overview’, University of Wollongong, pp. 2-15
- Knott 2011, ‘Migration in film’, Moving People, Changing Places’, http://www.movingpeoplechangingplaces.org/identities-cultures/migration-in-film.html
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