The Letter, An American Town and the Somali Invasion.
|Additional DVD options||Edition||Discs||
|New from||Used from|
(Sep 27, 2005)
- Boston International Film Festival
In The Letter, director Ziad H. Hamzeh explores what American news outlets have dubbed the Somali Invasion of Lewiston, Maine an insulated, predominantly white former mill town struggling to maintain its equilibrium in the wake of the 9/11 tragedy.
A firestorm of controversy erupts when Lewiston, Maine Mayor Larry Raymond sends an open letter to the 1,100 newly-arrived Somali refugees. He informs them that the city's resources are strained to the limit and asks them to tell other Somalis not to move to the city, a move interpreted as racism by some and a rallying cry by white supremacist groups across the United States.
The Letter documents the ensuing cross-current of emotions and events, culminating in an anti-immigrant rally convened by The World Church of the Creator and a counter demonstration involving nearly 4,000 Lewiston residents supporting ethnic and cultural diversity.
A documentary thrill-ride... Ziad Hamzeh's new documentary THE LETTER moves as breathlessly as a Hollywood thriller - only it's much more frightening because it's true. --New York Post
Mr. Hamzeh's film is responsible and intelligent, and important as a record of a disturbing incident. And there is something particularly thrilling about the sight of white Mainers, bundled up against the New England snows, happily swaying and shouting the word 'freedom' to the beat of an African drum. --New York Times
Ziad H. Hamzeh's THE LETTER is an especially dramatic work... A study of the American Dream in collapse. --Variety
Top customer reviews
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
The film helps people to see the plight of the Somali people who came to the united States for a better life for their children.
The film showed that bigotry is alive and thriving in the USA.
The film shows bigoted attitudes and the intolerance toward those who are a few shades darker than them. It exposes a side to racist self-serving religious groups. It shows the courage of the Somali people in a dangerous, difficult, or otherwise unfortunate situation. It showed how powerless government was to be able to step in and help these meek people with amazing backgrounds and culture.
The film showed we must direct our efforts toward relieving the plight of all Americans and visitors from countries around the world living in poverty.
SHAME ON THE MAYOR!!
"Mr. Hamzeh's film is responsible and intelligent, and important as a record of a disturbing incident. And there is something particularly thrilling about the sight of white Mainers, bundled up against the New England snows, happily swaying and shouting the word 'freedom' to the beat of an African drum." Anita Gates, New York Times.
"Undeniably strong... THE LETTER has a terrifying in-your-face immediacy, a strong cross-section of talking heads on both sides of the debate, and cuts deeply into the cultural wars dividing this country." Kevin Thomas, The Los Angeles Times.
"...A powerful and timely portrait of the tensions that can be generated by immigration situations, especially in a post-Sept. 11 world. THE LETTER is an important social document that merits widespread exposure." Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter.
"...A thoughtful, historically grounded, and utterly absorbing look at a quintessential American experience." Hazel-Dawn Dumpert, LA Weekly.
"Ziad H. Hamzeh's THE LETTER is an especially dramatic work... A study of the American Dream in collapse." Robert Koehler, Variety.
"Structured like a narrative feature about the events leading to a violent showdown... Hamzeh uses filmmaking techniques action-movie directors use to show the growing tension and arming-up of the opposing forces. It feels like [Martin Scorcese's] 'Gangs of New York' acted out by local police
and ordinary people." Glenn Andreiev, Films In Review.
"...A timely, thoughtful, and riveting chronicle... Ziad Hamzeh juggles an impressive number of subjects, including anti-Muslim sentiment, the neo-Nazi movement, institutionalized prejudice, and the nation's immigrant heritage... Hamzeh keeps the ideas flying and the story building... As an affecting work of compassionate craftsmanship, THE LETTER delivers." Rick Kisonak, Film Threat Magazine.