[Marxism] Immigration and the culture wars

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Thu Mar 30 14:48:57 MST 2006

The new movie directed by and starrying Tommy Lee Jones is a parable
which dovetails completely with the current struggle over immigrant's
rights in the United States today. THE THREE BURIALS OF MELQUIADES
ESTRADA recounts the friendship between an old white working American
(Jones) and an undocumented Mexican immigrant worker who is employed
by Jones as a ranch-hand, but they develope a friendship. The character
Jones plays befriends his employee with whom he speaks in a passable
Spanish. The film depicts the border patrol as composed of two types 
of cops. The first are crude and brutal racists, one of whom is played 
to perfection (but not at all over the top) by Dwight Yoakum. The second 
are more what were depicted comedically in A DAY WITHOUT A MEXICAN, men 
(mostly) who clearly understand that their jobs depende to and extent on 
their being a pool of immigrants without papers. They chase some and 
others provide cheap labor for the food which most people in the 
United States eat.

THREE BURIALS gives us a peek into this subculture, but also into the
possibilities which exist for friendship between peoples of different
cultures and from different countries, and shows that, in specific
circumstances, a bit of justice can be done by the conclusion. In a
way that's how the new Spike Lee/Denzel Washington movie (INSIDE MAN)
also ends. CRASH has that same element. There's so much virulent
racism being stirred up by anti-immigrant militants that it's most
inspiring to find movies like this one (THREE BURIALS), like CSA
(Confederate States of America) and so on which seem to be developing
an audience.

It's a shame THREE BURIALS wasn't just getting into the theaters now
as we are seeing the big upsurge of struggles for immigrant's rights.

I just saw this movie yesterday and am still feeling inspired by it.
ROGER EBERT'S REVIEW (he also liked it):

Walter Lippmann

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