Programmed by Pierre Oscar Lévy
Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse communities in the United States and the world. There are immigrants from every country in South America, Mexico, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and China. Some are citizens, some have green cards, some are without documents. The people who live in Jackson Heights, in their cultural, racial and ethnic diversity, are representative of the new wave of immigrants to America. The film raises issues of assimilation, integration, immigration and cultural and religious differences that also exist in all the major cities of the Western world.
For me, Wiseman is without doubt the most important filmmaker alive today. Every one of his films represents a new piece of the anthropological puzzle he’s been creating with flawless cinematography since the start of his career. With apparent simplicity and ease, and a modesty that enables him to mingle with and meet everyone, he gives us the portrait of a truly multicultural neighbourhood. Listening to each person’s public speaking, the documentary lets us “watch” to “see” life in this district of Queens in New York where the different communities are joining forces. At a time when in here in France, the country is rocked by contradictions and violence that herald the tearing of the social fabric, Wiseman’s film gently, without pretention and without illusion, offers food for thought about how to pool every person’s experience whilst learning to belly dance and a lot about geography.
Pierre Oscar Lévy