Design, code, words by @bilalzou.

I grew up in Rabat, Morocco, where I learned English from watching movies. In 2011, I immigrated to France, and shortly after I started a film curation service called agoodmovietowatch.com.

In the eight years of working on agoodmovietowatch, I have developed an obsession with the movies that reflect my experience – the stories of immigrants. With this project, I want to make a small corner of the internet where other people who look for these films can find them.

Movies made by immigrants, about immigrants.

The designation “immigrant filmmakers” is often associated with successful Hollywood filmmakers such as Alfonso Cuarón or Guillermo del Toro. These acclaimed and in some cases Oscar-winning directors certainly bring a new sensitivity to American filmmaking, but their films rarely involve immigrant stories.

This definition of the immigrant filmmaker is too broad, and reduces the designation to the origin country of the filmmaker.

This project seeks to push a new definition, one where immigrant filmmaking is the act of telling an immigrant story by an immigrant.

Immigration is a hopes and dreams thing

And what better stuff makes for good movies?

Immigrant film is often seen as sad or soapy, a collection of life vest stills. Yes, immigrant stories can get tough, but here is the thing: there are so many of them. There is enough to fill every genre. This project includes comedies and coming-of-age stories as much as it includes documentaries and difficult stories.

Uprooted only has movies made in the 21st-century

Each immigrant movie is specific to a single immigration wave. Studying Werner Herzog’s Stroszek about immigration from Europe to the U.S. in the 70s will tell us little to nothing of the current South-to-North immigration experience. The same would apply to films like Fassbinder’s Ali: Fear Eats the Soul, Charlie Chaplin’s The Immigrant, or Jim Jarmusch’s Stranger Than Paradise. These works are often referred to as immigrant films, and visited for their familiar and shallow insight into the immigrant experience; but they are not films on the immigrant experience in any relevant sense.