“The film is a cross-cultural tool that is designed to empower youth by: heightening students’ awareness of hidden preconceptions; supporting the development of intercultural empathy and critical thinking skills; and initiating dialogue between students of different cultures.” Arnd Wächter, Director Crossing Borders
“Crossing Borders” is a seventy minute documentary that follows four Moroccan and four American university students as they travel together through Morocco and, in the process of discovering “The Other.” discover themselves. With group travels and frank discussions, the students confront the complex implications of the supposed “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West. The relationships formed through shared experiences contrast sharply with the media-shaped views Americans and Muslims have of each other. Humor, honesty and a willingness to be challenged all bring individuals closer to each other and the relationships that develop disarm hidden stereotypes.
Crossing Borders Education (www.cb-education.org) is a non-profit organization for intercultural education. Since 2003, CB- Education has served more than 3200 American college students on its exchange programs. Arnd Wächter is the founder of this educational organization and the director/producer of the feature documentary “Crossing Borders”.
Director’s Statement: “Crossing Borders”
The relationship between the Muslim and Western worlds has been cast as a “clash of cultures:” a war between civilizations in which one is destined to prevail over the other. But is this so? What are the real attitudes and viewpoints of ordinary Americans and ordinary Muslims?
“Crossing Borders” aims to give a personal face to the “other side” through the experiences of American students studying abroad and their interactions with students in the moderate Muslim state of Morocco. By avoiding a focus on extremism, the film provides its audience with a sense of the millions of good-willed, “ordinary citizens” on both sides whose voices are often not presented by the media. The documentary aims to inspire audiences through practical examples of how to overcome the artificial separation between “Us” and “Them.”
The film targets a young adult base in both the Muslim and Western worlds—youth who have never met “the Other” in person. The film is created to initiate dialogue and debate between students on university campuses in the USA, North Africa and Middle East via screenings and interactive websites. These direct conversations will become a tool used to deepen the understanding of complex issues pervasive in the current world situation.