Rain in a Dry Land

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In RHINEBECK
Tues May 22 at 8:00

(US / 2006 / dir by Anne Makepeace)
UR / 82 mins.
* In Person: Director Anne Makepeace
Capturing the strangeness of contemporary America through the eyes of new immigrants, Rain in a Dry Land tells the story of two Bantu families who relocate from refugee camps to homes in urban America after managing to escape the 1991 civil war in Somalia.
While they learn about staircases in a Cultural Orientation class, in a most haunting image, Arbai and her daughters descend the steps of their new house like nervous mountaineers. And while they learn the phrase “I shall go to the supermarket,” when Madina searches for “a round chicken,” she recognizes none of her options for fried or frozen meat as poultry. Speaking candidly about their situations and, at low ebbs, communicating sorrow and frustration through their eyes, the film’s subjects don’t soft-sell the difficulties of finding jobs, paying bills, and adjusting to drastically different climates, cultures, and languages. As it follows their first two years in their new homes, Rain in a Dry Land creates suspense as to whether they, and others like them, will prevail.
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