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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

HOLLYWOOD GOES BOLLYWOOD - IMMIGRANTS OF THE DAY

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Oscar has an Indian-accent tonight with the UK/Indian production Slumdog Millionaire the big winner of the evening - including joining the ranks of the greatest films of all time with the coveted Best Picture award. Foreign-born artists were again richly rewarded for their work at the 81st Academy Awards. Here are some of the winners:

- Simon Beaufoy - UK - best adapted screenplay for Slumdog Millionaire.
- Penelope Cruz - Spain - best supporting actress for Vicky Cristina Barcelona
-
Heath Ledger - Australia - best supporting actor for The Dark Knight
- Danny Boyle - UK - best director for Slumdog Millionaire
- A.R. Rahman - India - best score and best song for Slumdog Millionaire
- Anthony Dod Mantle - UK - best cinematography for Slumdog Millionaire
- Michael O'Connor - UK - best costume design for The Dutchess
- Ian Tapp - UK - best sound mixing for Slumdog Millionaire
- Richard Pryke - UK - best sound mixing for Slumdog Millionaire
- Kate Winslet - UK - best actress for The Reader
- Resul Pookutty - India - best sound mixing for Slumdog Millionaire
- Glenn Freemantle - UK - best sound editing for Slumdog Millionaire
- Tom Sayers - UK - best sound editing for Slumdog Millionaire
- Chris Dickens - UK - best film editing for Slumdog Millionaire

[Note: I know that some of these folks probably don't reside in the US, but I'm going with a technicality here. All were in the US in at least one type of immigrant status last night even if it was a visitor classification. My point was to honor the contributions that international artists make to Hollywood and the American film industry].

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Comments

  1. Robin's Avatar
    Hi Greg,

    Like your blog. Just a technicality here, I do not think A.R.Rehman really falls in "immigrant" category. He is really based in India.
  2. Jack's Avatar
    Robin, not singling Greg's blog out, but one of the first things I noticed about 'Immigrant Of The Day' is that the people aren't always immigrants. It's more of a general xenophilia thing than who is technically an immigrant.
  3. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Actually, while they are in the audience in California, they are all technically in a US immigration status.
  4. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    Jack, can't you just be happy for people who made a great movie and got an award of a lifetime? Just for once?
  5. Jack's Avatar
    'can't you just be happy for people who made a great movie'

    Huh? I think you're assuming I dislike someone or something because it's foreign but I also don't like someone or something more or less due to it being foreign. I'm just making a point that the 'Immigrant Of The Day' type posts can be so broad that sometimes it isn't clear what the immigration connection is, if there even is one. Particularly when it's entertainment figures I can't always tell if they are a naturalized citizen, legal U.S. resident, have performed here one time on a visa, appear just on screen or sell a lot of CD's in the U.S., or are just non-American. Sometimes out of curiosity I Google the name and it turns out they were born in the U.S.!


  6. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Hi Jack - I'd like to know who turned out to be a US citizen.
  7. Jack's Avatar
    On this blog is what I assume you are interested in. I can't think of the name of the movie but there was a post a month(?) ago praising an actor and when I looked him up on Google or IMDB and he turned out to be born in Indiana. Maybe you knew that and were talking about him for some other reason but I thought he must be from somewhere other than the U.S.

    Not intending to nitpick, my general point is that someone who's not used to reading IOTD posts might assume that 'immigrant' means someone who's come to the U.S. permanently. I assume that for the most part when it's, e.g., a scientist, but entertainers are where I assume nothing and don't always see the point of noting an immigration connection.

    A post on a different blog once had Amy Winehouse as immigrant of the day and was rooting for her to win Grammys. I thought such enthusiasm was kind of interesting considering her drug lifestyle combined with the bloggers seeming not that likely to be enthusiastic about how she lives or that into her kind of music. I think they probably liked her just because she wasn't American. And I assumed they knew she's a Londoner so I wasn't sure what the immigration connection was. Maybe because she had some visa issues due to drugs although I could be thinking of Lily Allen.

    My observation is that one biased side tends to be more like that as well as lean toward thinking that immigration can solve a wide range of ills that it really can't. Be contrast, I'm sure there are those who like immigrants and foreigner nationals less than countrymen and blame them for problems which immigration isn't actually that related to. These are the two extremes which have the ear of policy makers and I think we need more neutral, agnostic types influencing policy.

  8. Greg Siskind's Avatar
    Jack - I didn't think you would be able to support your contention. I suspect the actor I praised was Richard Jenkins who was nominated for Best Actor last night. He was the lead in The Visitor, a film with an immigration theme. He played an American professor who goes to heroic lengths to try and help a young couple in immigration trouble. I strongly praised him when he got the Oscar nomination. If you actually read the post, you would have known that my praise had nothing to do with the actor's immigration status. I'd also written about the film on a couple of earlier occasions.

    As for your definition of immigrant, you're welcome to have your own immigrant of the day column on your own blog with your own criteria. I honor people who choose to make the US their permanent home as well as immigrants who are contributing to the country, but may not be here for the indefinite future. If someone in the US on a work visa does something great, I'm going to praise them. I never make citizens my IOTDs and I limit the honor to the living. I do generally check to see if the person either has a residence in the US or is working in the US (such as an artist on tour in the country).
  9. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    "who's not used to reading IOTD posts might assume that 'immigrant' means someone who's come to the U.S. permanently."

    So why you and your friends always insist that illegal immigrants are not immigrants? Based on your own criteria, they are.
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