In Jackson Heights (2015)
Jackson Heights, Queens, New York City is one of the most ethnically and culturally diverse communities in the United States and the world. There are immigrants from every country in South America, Mexico, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Afghanistan, India and China. Some are citizens, some have green cards, some are without documents. The people who live in Jackson Heights, in their cultural, racial and ethnic diversity, are representative of the new wave of immigrants to America. 167 languages are spoken in Jackson Heights. Some of the issues the film raises-assimilation, integration, immigration and cultural and religious differences-are common to all the major cities of the Western world. The subject of the film is the daily life of the people in this community-their businesses, community centers, religions, and political, cultural and social lives-and the conflict between maintaining ties to traditions of the countries of origin and the need to learn and adapt to American ways and values. This is Frederick Wiseman’s third film about communities, the others being ASPEN and BELFAST, MAINE. In these films, as in all his films, he is trying to present a broad and complex portrait of contemporary life.