GIFFORD FOUNDATION “WHAT IF…” Film: Becoming American

November 14, 2011 - 5:30 PM to 7:30 PM

Becoming American
Free films showcasing community revitalization and engagement at the ArtRage Gallery.

Becoming American tells the story of a Hmong refugee family from Highland Laos resettling in the U.S. Hang Sou and his family, preliterate tribal farmers, await resettlement in a refugee camp in Thailand after fleeing their war-consumed native Laos. Becoming American records their odyssey as they travel to and resettle in the United States. As they face nine months of intense culture shock, prejudice, and gradual adaptation to their new home in Seattle, the family provides a rare insight into refugee resettlement and cultural diversity issues.  “Becoming American is a galvanizing force for refugee support efforts,” states a review from the Seattle Weekly.  “It may prove the most potent single media instrument in teaching the refugees’ suspicious American hosts who these frightened newcomers are. It may also build the beginnings of understanding and empathy.”

The Gifford Foundation announces the fall films to be screened as part of the “What if…” Film Series. Launched in spring of 2010, the series presents free films showcasing how communities across the nation successfully address issues of concern to residents. The screenings are followed by discussions on how the themes resonate within Central New York. A committee of community volunteers selected the films. There will be a total of three films shown over the course of six presentations from October 4 through November 22; show times vary for each screening. Each film is about one hour long and is followed by the moderated discussion.

All films are free to the public and no reservations are necessary – seating is on a first come, first serve basis. ArtRage is fully handicapped accessible.

For more information visit the Gifford Foundation site