Alumnus to Show Film About Immigration Controversy
"Brother Towns" is a story of two towns linked by immigration, family and work; Jacaltenango, a highland Maya town in Guatemala, and Jupiter, a coastal resort town where many Jacaltecos have settled in Florida.
The film was shot over the course of three years (2006 to 2009) and chronicles the story of how and why people migrate across borders, how people make and remake their communities when they travel thousands of miles from home, and how people maintain families despite their travel. Because America is a nation of immigrants, Dr. Charles Thompson (E&H Class of 1979) say this is a universal human story and a quintessential American one.
Thompson will attend a screening of the movie Thursday, Feb. 24, at 7:30 p.m. in Room 102 of McGlothlin-Street Hall. Following the film, he will discuss the film, taking questions from the audience.
“Brother Towns” is also a story of local and international controversy. News of undocumented immigrants is familiar in nearly every community across the U.S., and citizens must choose how they respond to this issue. The story includes voices of those opposed to undocumented immigrants as well as advocates helping migrants who seek work and hope, whether documented or not.
As "Brother Towns" raises some important human rights issues, Thompson hopes the story inspires people to action.
After graduating from Emory & Henry, Charlie Thompson would go on to become the curriculum and education director at the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University and is now a lecturer in cultural anthropology. He has worked and studied in Guatemala since 1994. He lived with his family in Jacaltenango from 1996 to 1997.
His other film works include "The Guestworker" with Cynthia Hill and "We Shall Not Be Moved" with Chris Potter. His books include Maya Identities and Violence of Place: Borders Bleed, Indigenous Diasporas and Dislocations, The Human Cost of Food and Spirits of Just Men (a book about moonshine and small farmers in Appalachia in the 1930s).