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.
Lindsay Turner's first collection of poems, Songs & Ballads, is forthcoming from Prelude books, and she is the translator of several books of contemporary French poetry and philosophy. She holds a PhD in English from the University of Virginia, where her dissertation research focused on contemporary US poetry and global labor transformation, as well as an MFA in poetry from New York University and a masters degree in film from the Université Paris III. In 2018-19 she will be a Visiting Professor of English and Creative Writing at Furman University.