Beyond Our Boundaries
This engaging documentary explores a wide array of issues faced by international and American students when developing working relationships and friendships with one another. It serves as an excellent discussion-starter on interchanges between students of varying nationalities and ethnicities, as well as a thought-provoking illustration of how intercultural contacts help break down cultural stereotypes and ethnocentrism.
The film introduces seven young women from six different countries and regions around the world. The seven are graduate students at a university in California, and are living together in a shared home for the academic year. They share personal insights and engage in unscripted and unrehearsed discussion about their differences and similarities. At a time when international tensions are high, these young women discuss how they were able to develop meaningful friendships with Americans and with one another. Their perceptions are valuable for individuals from outside this country who are studying here as well as for their fellow American students.
The seven women include two Americans, one of Eastern European background and one Vietnamese-American, and one each from India, Iran, Spain, Nigeria, and the Philippines. The film is organized into six sections, each accessible from the DVD menu. They are: First Impressions, Commonalities, Stereotypes, Isolation, An Open Mind, and Lessons Learned.
With its lively style and thoughtful commentary, Beyond Our Boundaries will capture students’ interest and generate thought and discussion. It will also promote cross-cultural interaction, diversity, and sensitivity to other communities and cultures. It will make an important contribution to a variety of classes in psychology, communication, sociology, cultural studies, and education, as well as to programs in multicultural centers, international houses, dorms, and study abroad programs. It was produced by Jessica Keith, one of the seven women featured in the film. The DVD was fully authored by the producer.