Movie reverses student’s opinions on poverty

The International Studies Club hosted a special screening of the movie “Crossing Borders” in honor of International Education Week.

“Crossing Borders” is a documentary that follows four Moroccan and four American students during a trip through Morocco.

They discussed the stereotypes that each group is educated to believe about the other, and broke down the fallacies that each group has about the other.

On their journey, each student learns that the students from the opposite culture are completely different than they expected, based on the stereotypes that the media and others have implanted into their heads.

They learn throughout the documentary that they are far more alike than different, and learn as much about themselves as they do about the opposite culture.

Dr. Joanna Sabo, adviser of the International Studies Club, invited the crowd of about 70 people to a short discussion after the screening, which was held Thursday, Nov. 15.

Students talked about how the participants in the documentary had tough discussions and debates, which led to a mutual respect as each group started to understand that stereotypes about the opposite group were false.

The discussion then shifted to the mass amounts of poverty seen in the screening.

“Most people in third world countries spend most of their time trying to make food,” Sabo said.

“It’s a good lesson about poverty.”

The poverty discussion transitioned into discussing crime rates in poorer areas of third world countries, as well as areas of America.

“People who are poor will do what they have to do,” Sabo said.

Sabo also discussed a poll taken before and after a previous screening of the movie. Before watching the film, about 84 percent of viewers linked violence and terrorism with Muslims, while only about 6 percent matched them with hospitality. After seeing the documentary, those numbers were

The group also discussed whether or not it was right to just have the American students travel to Morocco instead of both visiting the opposite country.

“It was a good idea for Americans to see it for themselves instead of from the news,” student Chris Murphy, a former member of the International Studies Club, said.

For more information on the International Studies Club and the Study Abroad program.