Traoré’s 2017 film reminds us that the border itself is a problematic institution. Even in its most stripped-down form, a border exists for the exercise of power against those populations whose movements it controls. Who crosses—and at what cost—depends on lines of race, class, and gender.
A Finnish film about the inhumanity and pervasive danger of a system that functions to deny asylum and force deportation, even if that film is warm-hearted, should also be deeply unsettling to US viewers in 2018.
What’s unique about the film "Lady Bird" is that its nostalgia for the USA of 2002-2003 isn’t quite nostalgia. With a strange gentleness, the film builds itself around the feeling of recognizing the scary present in a past you can still manage to love.