Directed by Laura Angelica Simon • Documentary • 2003 • 55 minutes
We continue to follow the Nwidors and Lawanis from the United Nations refugee camp through their first few months in Chicago. It proves to be a tumultuous time for the Nwidors as they struggle with low-paying jobs in the hotel industry as well as unexpected health problems.
We follow Ricardo Rodriguez to Dodger City in Vero Beach, Florida where he meets the legendary Tommy LaSorda, who ‘likes what he sees’ in Ricardo. And after converting José Garcia to the pitcher position, he finally makes his way to spring training as well. He and his fellow players train extremely hard and spend their limited free time hanging out and flirting with local girls. For all their talent, we are reminded that they are still teenage boys. At the end of the episode, José and Ricardo are on their way to Great Falls, Montana to play in the minor leagues.
In Palestine, we follow Naima Saadeh and her fiancée Hatem as they continue to get to know each other and prepare for their marriage and the move to the United States. For all of Naima’s self-assurance about her future in America, upon her departure she is distraught as the finality of leaving all she has ever known sinks in.
"In the post-9/11 era, when many immigrants are looked upon with distrust, The New Americans offers a fresh perspective...a powerful and deeply personal documentary." - Suzanne Ryan, Boston Globe