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"The UnAmerican Struggle" New Documentary Looks at Bigotry in Trumpland

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When Doug Jones won the Atlanta Senate seat on December 12, most Americans breathed a sigh of relief. They were able to point to the victory as a sign that the beating heart of American values was not yet dead, and that there was hope for the country's future.

A new documentary film, "The UnAmerican Struggle ," written and directed by Ric Osuna , is a primer on how to revitalize the American quest to fulfill a vision of liberty and justice for all in the age of Trump.

Those concepts have often fallen quite short of the idealized notion Americans identify with -- beginning with the decimation of the indigenous population inhabiting the land when Europeans first arrived.

Speaking to the camera, Osuna states his mission: "To examine the resurgence of bigotry that Trump brought about with his words."

Osuna weaves darker pages from American history with the challenges the nation is currently facing. For those unaware of these narratives, they contextualize our current issues with lessons from the past.

Setting the tone with an image of the Statue of Liberty and the words of Emma Lazarus, Osuna presents the popular view of America as a haven to the oppressed and downtrodden.

How then, Osuna asks, did 62 million American voters cast their ballots for a candidate promoting a message of "racism, sexism, and xenophobia?"

Interviewing a group of experts to address this question, Osuna hopes to inform viewers by examining the specific challenges facing Hispanics, Muslims, African Americans, women, and the Transgender communities -- as they struggle to achieve the promise of "Tolerance, Equality, and Diversity" in an "inclusive" America.

Throughout the film, Osuna features clips of Trump's inflammatory rhetoric as he expounds upon his "Make American Great Again" vision. Osuna juxtaposes it with footage of previous presidents.

Trump riles up a crowd about "bad hombres" and "building a wall." Obama states, "We can be a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants." Ronald Reagan addresses Mikhail Gorbachev when he implores him to tear down the Berlin Wall. Post 9/11, George W. Bush makes a point of visiting a mosque and emphasizing, "The face of terror is not the true face of Islam. That's not what Islam is all about."

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Marcia G. Yerman is a writer, activist, and artist based in New York City. Her articles--profiles, interviews, reporting and essays--focus on women's issues, the environment, human rights, the arts and culture. Her writing has been published by (more...)

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