Merica (2007), 65 min. Federico Ferrone, Michele Manzolini, and Francesco Ragazzi, dirs.

Merica investigates the complexities of migration and the migrant’s desire for national belonging using the parallel stories of Italian immigration to Brazil in the 1800s and the current Italian-Brazilian migration to Italy. These “return migrants,” who have a strong attraction to Italy, face considerable challenges in a country still plagued by the difficulty of integrating outsiders. The film investigates why return migrants, while officially recognized as Italians, are not viewed as such by Italian-born citizens in everyday life. Ultimately, the film poses the question: if nationality does not create a sense of belonging, what does?

Post-screening discussion led by Guido Tintori, Fulbright-Schuman Scholar, New York University.