Who Makes Policy Campaign 2016 Edition

The Good Immigrant

The Netflix miniseries “The Night Of” was an overnight hit among viewers and critics alike. It had a captivating story line led by relatable characters that people quickly became emotionally invested in, combined with suspenseful cliffhangers that made some viewers unable to resist binge-watching the entire series in just a few days (I may or may not be one of those guilty parties…). However, it wasn’t just the superficial cinematic appeal that made this show such a success. A huge contributing factor to the wide range of viewers “The Night Of” attracted was how it fearlessly and directly broached the topic of racism, particularly the current climate surrounding terrorism and the racial profiling of Middle Easterners. It was also unique in it’s honest presentation of the vast differences in how each character interpreted the night’s events, going beyond the obvious role that race plays. It spanned a whole spectrum of social differences among the characters – from their economic strata, to their relationship status, to their chosen fields of work, and even the different positions some of them held within the same career field – which was done with the purpose of opening the audience’s eyes to the reality of just how much these seemingly minor differences from one person to the next can impact their worldview. The topic is relevant to our current state of affairs and the show succeeded in educating viewers in an entertaining, somewhat addicting, method of communication. If like me you were left wanting more once the series concluded, you may share in my excitement at having discovered this book that was just published titled The Good Immigrant. It is a collection of stories compiled by Nikesh Shukla about the experiences of people living as immigrants in Britain, which I’m sure will provide some interesting insight for the purpose of comparison to the experiences of immigrants living here in the U.S.  One of the stories is authored by Riz Ahmed, the actor that plays the main character in “The Night Of” and I very much look forward to reading about what his real life experiences have been as an immigrant as compared to those of his character Naz. The title of one online review of the book sums it all up nicely: “Sitting comfortably? The Good Immigrant will change that: This collection of essays about black and minority ethnic experience in Britain is a powerful antidote to generalisation and lazy thinking.”



Author: Michelle Anasa


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