Out of Balance
Release Date: April 11, 2008
Starring: Richard Jenkins, Haaz Sleiman,
Hiam Abbass, and Danai Gurira
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 108 minutes
Distributor: Overture Films/Starz LLC
Director: Tom McCarthy
Executive Producer: None
Producer: Michael London and Mary Jane
Writer: Tom McCarthy
Address Comments To:Robert Clasen, Chairman/CEO
(Starz Entertainment, Overture Films, Anchor Bay Entertainment)
8900 Liberty Circle
Englewood, CO 80112
Phone: (720) 852-7700
Fax: (720) 852-8555
Character actor Richard Jenkins plays Walter Vale, an economics professor who’s lost his passion for living following his wife’s death years before. Forced to attend a conference in Manhattan, Walter is surprised to find an illegal alien couple living in his old New York apartment. Walter takes pity on Tarek, a Syrian man, and his black girlfriend from Senegal, Zainab. He lets them stay in the spare room until they can find something else. Meanwhile, Tarek, a professional musician, teaches Walter to play the African drum.
After being stopped by police, however, Tarek is held for being an undocumented alien. Walter tries everything he can to free Tarek. Then, Tarek’s beautiful mother from Michigan comes looking for her son. An unlikely, but understandable, romance develops between her and Walter.
THE VISITOR is more of a character study than a political treatise on immigration. Even so, it sides with illegal aliens and makes low-level American immigration officials look mean and apathetic. More balance would have made THE VISITOR, including its downbeat ending, easier to swallow. Illegal aliens only have themselves to blame for violating American laws, but streamlining and clarifying government red tape, and making it just and fair, are always a good thing.
THE VISITOR is more of a beautifully acted character study than a political treatise on immigration. Even so, it sides with illegal aliens and makes low-level American immigration officials look mean and apathetic. More balance would have made THE VISITOR, including its downbeat ending, easier to swallow.