Crossing Over is a 2009 American independent film drama exploring the lives of illegal immigrants attempting to “cross the border” literally and metaphorically to achieve legal status in the United States. The film deals with the border, document fraud, the asylum and green card process, work-site enforcement, naturalization, the office of counter-terrorism and the clash of cultures. The film highlights the dehumanising effects of border controls on both those seeking to cross the border and those involved in maintaining them. It also explores the crossing of cultural boundaries and the real and psychological conflicts that can result.
Harrison Ford stars as ICE Special Agent Max Brogan, Ray Liotta plays Cole Frankel and Ashley Judd plays Denise Frankel.
Ask yourself: why do so many risk so much to cross over our borders
Crossing Over was written and directed by Wayne Kramer, himself an immigrant from South Africa and is a remake of his 1995 short film of the same name. Kramer produced the film alongside Frank Marshall.
The movie was filmed on location in Los Angeles in 2007.
After immigrant Mireya Sanchez is deported, officer Max Brogan [Harrison Ford] takes care of her little son, and brings him to the boy’s grandparents in Mexico. Later the woman is found dead near the border. Brogan returns to the grandparents to tell them the bad news.
Cole Frankel, a corrupt immigration officer, makes a deal with Australian immigrant Claire Shepard: he can have unlimited sex with her for two months, then she gets a green card. In the course of the two months he separates from his wife and wants to make the relationship with Shepard one of love, but she declines. He exempts her from completing the two months and arranges the green card. However, authorities find out and arrest him and Shepard is deported. His wife Denise Frankel adopts a little girl from Nigeria, who has already been in the detention center several years.
Brogan has an Iranian colleague, Hamid Baraheri. Hamid’s family disapproves of his sister having sex with a married man. Encouraged by his father his brother plans to beat them up, but he ends up killing them, and is arrested.
South Korean teenager Yong Kim, who is about to be naturalized, reluctantly participates in a robbery with four others. Hamid kills the four in a shootout but lets him go. He lies to the authorities that there were only four robbers.
Gavin Kossef, a young British immigrant, pretends to be a religious Jew, to get a job at a Jewish school, which allows him to stay in the U.S. In a test where he has to demonstrate his familiarity with the Jewish religion he does not perform properly, but a rabbi asked to assess it approves it, so that the immigrant passes the test. After the test, in private, the rabbi requires from the immigrant to take lessons from him to eliminate the deficiencies in his knowledge.
Taslima Jahangir, a 15-year-old girl from Bangladesh, presents a paper at school promoting that people should try to understand the 9/11 hijackers. The school principal reports this to authorities. She is not charged for this, but it turns out that her parents and she are illegally in the U.S. One parent of choice can stay with the girl’s two younger siblings, who are U.S. citizens because they were born in the U.S., the girl has to leave with the other parent to Bangladesh, even though she has lived there only until she was three. She leaves with her mother, and cannot even say goodbye to her father.
Text for this article was adapted from the Wikipedia entry on this movie and is available under a Creative Commons, Share Alike licence.