ABOuT ThE FiLm
In a world o si billion people, it only takes one to change your lie. In actor and lmmakerTom McCarthy’s ollow-up to his award winning directorial debut
The Station Agent
,Richard Jenkins (
Six Feet Under
) stars as a disillusioned Connecticut economics proessorwhose lie is transormed by a chance encounter in New York City. Sity-two-year-old Walter Vale (Jenkins) is sleepwalking through his lie. Having lost his passion or teaching andwriting, he lls the void by unsuccessully trying to learn to play classical piano.When his college sends him to Manhattan to attend a conerence, Walter is surprised tond a young couplehas taken up residence in his apartment. Victims o a real estate scam,Tarek (Haaz Sleiman), a Syrian man, and Zainab (Danai Gurira), his Senegalese girlriend,have nowhere else to go. In the rst o a series o tests o the heart, Walter reluctantly allowsthe couple to stay with him. Touched by his kindness, Tarek, a talented musician, insists onteaching the aging academic to play the Arican drum. The instrument’s euberant rhythmsrevitalize Walter’s altering spirit and open his eyes to a vibrant world o local jazz clubs andCentral Park drum circles. As the riendship between the two men deepens, the dierencesin culture, age and temperament all away. Ater being stopped by police in the subway,Tarek is arrested as an undocumented immigrant and held or deportation. As his situationturns desperate, Walter nds himsel compelled to help his new riend with a passion hethought he had long ago lost. When Tarek’s beautiul mother Mouna (Hiam Abbass) arrivesunepectedly in search o her son, the proessor’s personal commitment develops into anunlikely romance. And it’s through these newound connections with these virtual strangersthat Walter is awakened to a new world and lie.
Social Action Campaign uses the 2008 eature lm
to inspireaudiences to learn more about the U.S. immigration detention system and connectthem with ways to get involved. In addition to critical acclaim, the lm has beenembraced nationwide by advocates working to achieve policies that refect ourcountry’s values o justice and due process. The Campaign is designed in consultationwith the National Immigrant Justice Center and Detention Watch Network,with unding rom the Open Society Institute.
Socal Acton Capagn
Te Vstor s a Partcpant meda-Grondswell Prodctonspresentaton, released to teaters n Nort Aerca bOvertre Fls and on DVD b Ancor Ba Entertanent.