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Movie Review: Citizen Usa

Prinz Lee image

Prinz Lee wrote this review 5 years ago

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Hey, guys…Lee here! Prior to watching this documentary, I have to be honest in not having any intentions whatsoever on writing up a review. It’s very rare I write up on any Cable TV movie-based presentation, however, being a fan of filmmaker, Alexandra Pelosi (Right America: Feeling Wronged, Homeless: The Motel Kids Of Orange County), her dynamic work and her eloquent stance on how to educationally present some of our country’s most complex issues, this piece was no different, but did something her other films haven’t done…and that’s leaving me in awe regarding what stems behind the purpose of this film!

It is Independence Day weekend (July 4, 2011), and after watching Citizen U.S.A.: A 50 State Road Trip, so many feelings generated, I had no choice but run to my PC, open up a blank page and start typing my ass off!

Pelosi’s angle this time around is pretty basic and/or subtle, but allows us a full-fledged trip across our nation’s 50 states providing us with unique footage, sound-bites and tidbits from newly sworn in Americans who have left their sketchy backgrounds in search of a better life. Some of what we get to soak in on are stories of an Iranian woman talking about social inequality for women in her native land; a Portuguese man opening up on how simple it is for us to obtain running water, rather than having to walk up mountains four or five times a day for it; an Iraqi man describing his shocking realization of how back home the life of human-being isn’t held for such high regard, rather than that of dog’s in America when talking to a pedestrian pertaining to why having their pet walk around with paw protectors, or the simple feedback from Chinese twins explaining how it’s great to have social media like YouTube, Facebook or Twitter.

One state after the next, we hear from SO many different types who express their loving desire to become American citizens and what best stands out in their heads about being in this country. They also go into a reality regarding how much citizen born Americans tend to take a lot of what this country has for granted (I.e. Access to ALL sorts of freedoms), as well as constantly complain (I.e. Political elections not turning out in their favor, religious differences, or a weak, yet STILL functioning economy)

From scene to shining scene, the self-motivating documentary about who we are as individuals and what can be accomplished here—no matter how different we are—comes to a reality-based screeching halt when a ceremony scene presenting newly sworn Americans in Arizona is picketed by protesters chanting against its controversial immigration law, defiant interviews from those within the hall being sworn in (AZ), or when scenes in Texas are paved with signs that read ‘Secede,’ accompanied by creepy music with lyrics mentioning how Texas is “another country.”

As happy as they may be, from struggles to triumph, there’s a lot these newly sworn in Americans see among their naturally born counterparts which makes them question the purposes of the SAME individuals who rave about the powers and capabilities of their country, but find the time to still argue against the rights of others (I.e. Gay rights, political affiliations, or even the gray area about an abolished mindset regarding race relations considering America’s bi-racial President.)

Pelosi’s research is so well done, the moral of this documentary’s story lies within the core of how accepting, straight-thinking, appreciative, embracing and loving our newcomers are among each other and us, yet, some of us still feel the need to live narrow-mindedly based on tarnished ideals!

How’s that for irony?



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