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Friday, September 26, 2008

Divided We Fall

In the immediate aftermath of September 11, 20-year-old college student Valarie Kaur went on an epic journey across America to document the hate violence against minorities that had so increased since the attacks.

Her film, "Divided We Fall: Americans in the Aftermath" is the result, and it will play at the Virginia Holocaust Museum this Sunday at 2 p.m.

The film examines the idea of "who counts as an American." Since September 11, a violent backlash on America's own soil has taken place, effecting Sikh, Arab, South Asian, Latino and other brown-skinned Americans.

The first person murdered in reaction to the September 11 attacks was Balbir Singh Sodhi, in Mesa, Arizona on September 15th. The federal government reported 1700 percent increase in 'anti-Muslim' hate crimes, from 28 in 2000 to 481 in 2001.

These statistics, as the film's website points out, do not include more subtle forms of discrimination, or that which went unreported.

Kaur worked with a crew who was also mostly in their twenties, all of whom worked without pay to make the film a reality. The initial stages of production were completed entirely due to grassroots donations. Eastman Kodak donated nearly half of the film stock.


After the film, there will be open discussion between the filmmakers and the audience. The film has been on tour across America, being shown in colleges, churches and various other venues since September 11, 2008. The tour will span 50 cities. [Link]

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