Plaza Voices: The Journey

A compelling short film is making the rounds--and I'm writing about it here, even though it's technically sort of an ad. Directed by Diego Luna (the talented and prolific Mexican actor/director most recently known for his role in Rogue One), "The Journey" is a heartfelt tribute to immigrants here in the U.S. It's sentimental, and probably simplistic, and I can't seem to watch it without crying:

So I've been asking myself, what makes this video so touching that it's almost painful to watch? Maybe it's the shock of seeing a sympathetic, respectful portrayal of people who are so often treated with suspicion, or pity. Maybe it's the power of our shared human story, combined with the fierce assertion of individuality and personal achievement.

Maybe it's realizing that a part of me still wants to believe in that old myth it invokes, that American Dream. That I can still be moved to honor my country, through my respect for the people in it.

This sense of honor in the face of human dignity is something I've felt before. I felt it watching this talk from entrepreneur Tan Le, and this one from author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie; I felt it reading my coworker Naghem's blog posts, and viewing stories at Define American. I try to remember this feeling in my work at the library.

Maybe now more than ever it is important to share our stories, to seek out those who are different, and celebrate what makes our country beautiful: all of us.

Plazas are an open community space where immigrants from all over the world connect with people, information, and resources, building Denver’s global community. Come to practice a language, prepare for citizenship, pursue your goals, and create your future. Whatever you’re doing, we can help! Please see our events calendar for more information.

Written by Amma R. on January 19, 2017


Josh @ GVR on January 24, 2017


Great post as usual. The American Dream means many things to many different people.


Thank you for reading, Josh. And thank you for your comment--you're right about that, of course, and it's a good reminder for me, for all of us.

SuzanneK on January 29, 2017


We are a nation of immigrants. If my grandparents didn't escape tyranny in Eastern Europe, they would have burned in the ovens and I wouldn't be here today. How grateful I am!

Anonymous on February 1, 2017


Can't thank you enough for sharing!