From the epicenter of today's global migration debates, FROM HERE (formerly With Wings and Roots*) follows four young people who represent the future of global citizenry. Filmed over the better part of a decade in two of the world’s largest immigration countries–the U.S. and Germany–FROM HERE captures an international generation’s fight for belonging in an era of rising nationalism.
Set in Berlin and New York, FROM HERE interweaves the stories of Tania, Miman, Sonny and Akim – artists and activists raised in the Global North to parents from the Global South. The film accompanies them as they move from their 20’s into their 30’s, facing major turning points: fighting for citizenship, creating a family, surviving violence, and finding creative expression. Beautifully shot over the course of ten years, the film captures their struggle to define belonging for themselves in societies increasingly hostile to their existence.
FROM HERE is accompanied by a robust impact and education initiative which assumed the original name of the film, With Wings and Roots. The initiative includes a content-rich web platform of educational resources, including curricula, interactive timelines of US and German immigration history, and the possibility for visitors to add their voices to thee story collection.
Humans have always migrated to survive and thrive. And while migration is as old as humanity, its speed has increased. Migration is currently changing the face of nearly every society around the world. Goods, weapons, capital, pollutants, and information can move ever more freely, but humans cannot. Millions are denied their basic dignity because of being born on the wrong side of a border or trying to cross one.
Far-right politicians and parliamentarians around the world have moved into the highest offices by exploiting anti-immigrant rhetoric. Underlying this reality are very deep, often hidden beliefs about who really belongs.
FROM HERE counters the culture of fear with a culture of possibility. It's protagonists are caught in the crosshairs of polarized debates, who have chosen to transform their struggles into action to help shape the conversation.
Many things in my personal story drew me to make this film, including years of activism and some surprising firsthand encounters with xenophobia in Europe. Raised within the Greek-American community, I struggled to reconcile the tension between tradition and change in my own community. Ultimately, these experiences led me to believe that to create the multiracial democracies we hope for, we need narratives that speak directly to the unspoken beliefs of who does and doesn’t belong.
I was compelled to tell the stories of Tania, Sonny, Miman and Akim because of their unique and beautiful ways of creating belonging.