10 Best Movies About Immigration That You Should Watching Update 07/2024

Movies About Immigration

According to IMDb, which films, such as Gangs of New York or The Godfather II, best reflect the immigrant experience?

It can be difficult and life-changing for immigrants to relocate to a new country. In immigrant films, cultural exodus has given some joyful and sorrowful storylines. Films about immigration and its long-term effects are explored in a variety of genres, regardless of their subject matter.

When it comes to movies based on books, The Namesake and Brooklyn are two of the most popular examples. Immigrant-themed movies such as In America and Persepolis, on the other hand, draw heavily from real-life experiences.

1. Pressure (1976) – 7.1

Herbert Norville plays Herbert Norville, a second-generation Black British youngster in Horace Ové’s compelling classic, which depicts racial prejudice in the 1970s. This Trinidadian immigrant boy is fed up with the daily bigotry he has to put up with. His elders, on the other hand, counsel him to keep a low profile and to submit to the will of the white people, who hold all the sway in the country.

Pressure is a highly current and historically significant immigrant film that demands to be reviewed because of its ongoing battle of beliefs and race relations.

2. A Better Life (2005) – 7.2

A Better Life (2005)

A Better Life, starring Demián Bichir, tells the story of an illegal Mexican immigrant gardener who lives in Los Angeles and works as a landscaper. A desperate search for their truck is undertaken by both of them when their son becomes disoriented and loses their vehicle.

The film serves as an empathic depiction of the hardships faced by immigrant parents. As a father, the protagonist’s main objective is to ensure that he and his son have a “better life.”

3. Paddington (2014) – 7.2

While Paddington is a wonderful family film, it is also a cultural icon in the United Kingdom. It’s a common misconception, though, to overlook the fact that the beloved animated bear is a native of Peru. Due to a family tragedy, Paddington moves to London in quest of fresh digs. Paddington develops an English accent and a taste for marmalade sandwiches once he is adopted by the Brown family.

Using an animal as a metaphor for British immigration, the film explores how an animal might adapt to a new environment.

4. Black Girl (1966) – 7.4

Black Girl (1966)

When Black Girl was released in the 1960s, it was a worldwide cinematic first to have a story told solely from the perspective of a Senegalese person. For the first time, the plight of African migrants in other nations is brought to light by the French-Senegalese film. Senegalese woman’s free-spirited life is shown in flashback, which contrasts with the pain she experiences while working for a French couple.

Immigrant Gomis Diouana’s naivety and eventual disappointment are captured in Mbissine Thérèse Diop’s portrayal of the character.

5. The Namesake (2007) – 7.5

Namesake stars Irrfan Khan and Tabu as a Bengali couple who move to the United States in hopes of providing a better life for their children. Gogol, the couple’s son, naturally becomes more American than Indian as he grows older….

Many first-generation immigrants and their children may identify with the father-son relationship at the heart of the story. As it stands, there is a generational divide between parents and teenagers. For example, the cultural and educational gaps between the protagonist and antagonist in The Namesake exacerbate this disparity.

6. Brooklyn (2015) – 7.5

Brooklyn (2015)

Brooklyn tells the story of an Irish woman who moves to the United States in the 1950s in search of a fresh career path. A choice must be made between staying in New York City permanently or returning home. The problem is exacerbated by the demands of a love relationship and the expectations of one’s family.

Immigrant dramas like this one do not focus on the process of moving to a new nation. It also talks on the prospect of an immigrant wanting to return to their original country.

7. Gangs Of New York (2002) – 7.5

A violent vengeance film based on mass migration in 19th century America is Gangs of New York. A man’s quest to avenge his father’s killing is the focus of the film, although it touches on a number of Irish-American historical topics.

Protestant and Catholic factions, the Irish protests against free labor, and American society’s impact on the Civil War are all included in this.

8. In America (2002) – 7.7

In America (2002)

In America tells the story of an Irish family’s struggle to make a new life in the United States. Amusing and melancholy to watch the family’s isolation and poverty in New York City. As opposed to using melodramatic titles, In America focuses on the ordinary triumphs and misadventures of its immigrant characters.

The screenplay was co-written by Jim Sheridan’s two daughters, Naomi and Kirsten. This simply enhances the film’s authenticity and heartfeltness.

9. Persepolis (2007) – 8

As a young child growing up in a war-torn and oppressive Iran, Marjane Satrapi’s autobiographical graphic novel Persepolis chronicles the lives of a young girl. When Marjane was just a teen, she left her conservative family in Iran and moved to Vienna, Austria, where she was able to further her education. She spiraled into depression as a result of the cultural shock and isolation.

Marjane, the protagonist of Persepolis, is depicted in a darkly satirical manner as she tries to find her identity as a teenager. She feels like an outsider in her Iranian home, while she feels like an outsider in Vienna. Persepolis is a story about a woman’s search for herself, and this is what makes it so personal.

10. The Godfather Part II (1974) – 9

The Godfather Part II (1974)

Both Michael Corleone’s reign as Corleone family king and Vito Corleone’s life before becoming a Don are explored in Francis Ford Coppola’s The Godfather Part II.

Robert De Niro’s portrayal of a younger version of the Italian immigrant who would go on to become the ‘Godfather’ of one of New York’s most notorious crime families won him an Academy Award. The film uses flashbacks from Mario Puzo’s original Godfather book to portray Vito’s aspirations to build a commercial empire in the United States.