Crossing Over – the Movie

This is a 2009 movie starring Harrison Ford as a law enforcement officer dealing with immigration enforcement. This movie works because Harrison Ford is a strong actor and he can pull it off, bring it all together and keep us engaged.

The story is about a number of immigrants, legal and illegal, that are struggling with their lives in the United States. There is a Chinese boy drawn into a gang, a Muslim girl intrigued by suicide bombers and couragous, or foolish, enough to voice her opinion in public through a class paper. In the process she is unwittingly tearing apart her family. There are the innocent children caught in the web of meandering and conflicting rules. Tragedy permeates their lives, while all they want is to better their lot, one life, one story at a time.

I am an immigrant. I chose to live in this country. I was not born here. So I know what it feels like to be coming from another country, even though the one I came from was not as underprivileged as others. Our nation is built of immigrants. In all the years of taking cabs, I can probably count on one hand the number of times the cab driver was American born. Go to any market in the inner city and check out the grocer behind the counter. Immigrants all.

This movie is about justice and injustice, and about a lot of bigotry. Some of the stories are devastating and frightening.

As a movie, Crossing Over does not work very well. The stories are thought provoking, but there are too many of them, and for the first half of the movie I was trying to figure out what was going on, and in the second half I had given up. The subplots are too numerous and it’s impossible to keep them straight. Then, later, as the lines get somewhat untangled, I didn’t really care anymore.

When the credits rolled I thought I was glad that I had watched, but I knew I would not remember much about this one.

I did question our immigration laws and their enforcement.

Rating: **

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