Best Movies, Documentary, Drama, Foreign-Language, History

The Best Movies About Immigration And Immigrants

“What are the best movies about Immigration And Immigrants?” We looked at 247 of the top Immigration films, aggregating and ranking them so we could answer that very question!

The top 28 films, all appearing on 3 or more “Best Immigration” movie lists, are ranked below by how many times they appear. The remaining 200+ movies, as well as the sources we used, are in alphabetical order on the bottom of the page.

Happy Scrolling!



Top 28 Immigration Movies



28 .) Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)

 Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974) Lists It Appears On:

  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB
  • Indie Wire

Emmi Kurowski, a cleaning lady, is lonely in her old age. Her husband died years ago, and her grown children offer little companionship. One night she goes to a bar frequented by Arab immigrants and strikes up a friendship with middle-aged mechanic Ali. Their relationship soon develops into something more, and Emmi’s family and neighbors criticize their spontaneous marriage. Soon Emmi and Ali are forced to confront their own insecurities about their future.

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27 .) An American Tail (1986)

 An American Tail (1986) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • AZ Central
  • Film School Rejects

A young mouse named Fievel and his family decide to migrate to America, a “land without cats,” at the turn of the 20th century. But somehow, Fievel ends up in the New World alone and must fend off not only the felines he never thought he’d have to deal with again but also the loneliness of being away from home.

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26 .) Babel

 Babel Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB

Tragedy strikes a married couple on vacation in the Moroccan desert, touching off an interlocking story involving four different families.

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25 .) Coming To America (1988)

 Coming To America (1988) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • BuzzFeed
  • IMDB

Prince Akeem, heir to the throne of Zamunda, leaves the tropical paradise kingdom in search of his queen. What better place than Queens, New York, to find his bride? Joined by his loyal servant and friend, Semmi, Akeem attempts to blend in as an ordinary American and begin his search.

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24 .) District 9

 District 9 Lists It Appears On:

  • Film School Rejects
  • Ranker
  • Wikipedia

Thirty years ago, aliens arrive on Earth. Not to conquer or give aid, but to find refuge from their dying planet. Separated from humans in a South African area called District 9, the aliens are managed by Multi-National United, which is unconcerned with the aliens’ welfare but will do anything to master their advanced technology. When a company field agent contracts a mysterious virus that begins to alter his DNA, there is only one place he can hide: District 9.

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23 .) For a Moment, Freedom

 For a Moment, Freedom Lists It Appears On:

  • IMDB
  • Ranker
  • Wikipedia

Centers on a group of weary Middle Eastern refugees who have made their way to Turkey to apply for European visas.

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22 .) Gangs Of New York (2002)

 Gangs Of New York (2002) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • IMDB
  • Ranker

It’s 1863. America was born in the streets. Amsterdam Vallon returns to the Five Points of America to seek vengeance against the psychotic gangland kingpin, Bill the Butcher, who murdered his father years earlier. With an eager pickpocket by his side and a whole new army, Vallon fights his way to seek vengeance on the Butcher and restore peace in the area.

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21 .) Head-on (2004)

 Head-on (2004) Lists It Appears On:

  • BFI
  • IMDB
  • Wikipedia

Head On is German director Fatih Akin’s story of the alcoholic Cahit and Turkish Sibel. Akin tells the story of a love that can never be between two people who are too alike to not be together.

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20 .) House of Sand and Fog

 House of Sand and Fog Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • IMDB
  • Ranker

Behrani, an Iranian immigrant buys a California bungalow, thinking he can fix it up, sell it again, and make enough money to send his son to college. However, the house is the legal property of former drug addict Kathy. After losing the house in an unfair legal dispute with the county, she is left with nowhere to go. Wanting her house back, she hires a lawyer and befriends a police officer. Neither Kathy nor Behrani have broken the law, so they find themselves involved in a difficult moral dilemma.

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19 .) Illégal

 Illégal Lists It Appears On:

  • IMDB
  • Ranker
  • Wikipedia

A hugely successful DA goes into private practice after sending a man to the chair — only to find out later he was innocent. Now the drunken attorney only seems to represent criminals and low lifes.

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18 .) Journey of Hope

 Journey of Hope Lists It Appears On:

  • IMDB
  • Ranker
  • Wikipedia

In a village in eastern Turkey, tales of the economic success of Turks in Switzerland inspire Haydar to convince his wife Meryem that they must go. He sells their livestock and small plot of land in exchange for passage for two. He wants to leave their seven children in the care of the eldest and his parents; his father advises him to take one son to be educated in Europe, as economic insurance. The three set off for Istanbul, Milan, and Switzerland, stowing away on a ship. At Lake Como, they pay the rest of their money to unprincipled men who abandon them at an Alpine pass before a blizzard. Father and son are separated from Meryem. Will anyone reach the land of promise?

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17 .) Stranger Than Paradise (1984)

 Stranger Than Paradise (1984) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • IMDB
  • Indie Wire

Rootless Hungarian émigré Willie, his pal Eddie, and visiting sixteen-year-old cousin Eva always manage to make the least of any situation, whether aimlessly traversing the drab interiors and environs of New York City, Cleveland, or an anonymous Florida suburb.

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16 .) The Namesake (2006)

 The Namesake (2006) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • IMDB
  • NPR

American-born Gogol, the son of Indian immigrants, wants to fit in among his fellow New Yorkers, despite his family’s unwillingness to let go of their traditional ways.

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15 .) The Perez Family

 The Perez Family Lists It Appears On:

  • EW
  • Ranker
  • We Are MITU

In the midst of the Mariel boat lift — a hurried exodus of refugees from Cuba going to America — an immigration clerk accidentally presumes that dissident Juan Raul Perez and Dorita Evita Perez are married. United by their last name and a mutual resolve to emigrate, Dorita and Juan agree to play along. But it gets complicated when the two begin falling for each other just as Juan reunites with his wife, Carmela, whom he hasn’t seen in decades.

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14 .) Welcome (2009)

 Welcome (2009) Lists It Appears On:

  • IMDB
  • Ranker
  • Wikipedia

Bilal is 17 years old, a Kurdish boy from Iraq. He sets off on an adventure-filled journey across Europe. He wants to get to England to see his love who lives there. Bilal finally reaches Calais, but how do you cover 32 kilometers of the English Channel when you can’t swim? The boy soon discovers that his trip won’t be as easy as he imagined… The community of struggling illegal aliens in Calais

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13 .) Dancer In The Dark (2000)

 Dancer In The Dark (2000) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • AZ Central
  • IMDB
  • Indie Wire

Selma, a Czech immigrant on the verge of blindness, struggles to make ends meet for herself and her son, who has inherited the same genetic disorder and will suffer the same fate without an expensive operation. When life gets too difficult, Selma learns to cope through her love of musicals, escaping life’s troubles – even if just for a moment – by dreaming up little numbers to the rhythmic beats of her surroundings.

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12 .) Entre Nos

 Entre Nos Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • IMDB
  • Spanish Mama
  • We Are MITU

Abruptly abandoned by her husband in a country completely foreign to her, Colombian native Mariana (Paola Mendoza) struggles to take care of herself and her two young children on the unforgiving streets of New York City. Sebastian Villada, Laura Montana and Anthony Chisholm also star in this gritty independent drama jointly written and directed by Mendoza and her collaborator Gloria La Morte.

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11 .) The Border (1982)

 The Border (1982) Lists It Appears On:

  • EW
  • IMDB
  • Miss Liberty
  • Ranker

A corrupted border agent decides to clean up his act when an impoverished woman’s baby is put up for sale on the black market.

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10 .) The Kite Runner

 The Kite Runner Lists It Appears On:

  • BuzzFeed
  • IMDB
  • Ranker
  • Wikipedia

After spending years in California, Amir returns to his homeland in Afghanistan to help his old friend Hassan, whose son is in trouble.

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9 .) America, America (1963)

 America, America (1963) Lists It Appears On:

  • AZ Central
  • IMDB
  • Miss Liberty
  • NPR
  • Ranker

A young Anatolian Greek, entrusted with his family’s fortune, loses it en route to Istanbul and dreams of going to America

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8 .) Children of Men

 Children of Men Lists It Appears On:

  • AZ Central
  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB
  • Ranker
  • Wikipedia

In 2027, in a chaotic world in which humans can no longer procreate, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea, where her child’s birth may help scientists save the future of humankind.

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7 .) El Norte (1983)

 El Norte (1983) Lists It Appears On:

  • AZ Central
  • EW
  • IMDB
  • NPR
  • We Are MITU

Brother and sister Enrique and Rosa flee persecution at home in Guatemala and journey north, through Mexico and on to the United States, with the dream of starting a new life.

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6 .) Moscow on the Hudson (1984)

 Moscow on the Hudson (1984) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • BFI
  • EW
  • IMDB
  • Miss Liberty

A Russian circus visits the US. A clown wants to defect, but doesn’t have the nerve. His saxophone playing friend however comes to the decision to defect in the middle of Bloomingdales. He is befriended by the black security guard and falls in love with the Italian immigrant from behind the perfume counter. We follow his life as he works his way through the American dream and tries to find work as a musician.

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5 .) Sin Nombre (2008)

 Sin Nombre (2008) Lists It Appears On:

  • AZ Central
  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB
  • NPR
  • We Are MITU

Set on the border, where Mexico becomes the crucible and the fearsome gangs of today’s Mexican countryside, the gauntlet, to freedom. The stories of a girl living in Honduras and hungering for a brighter future, and two teen gang members, for whom the Mara Salvatrucha is near their entire universe, become interlaced on the train to the border, a journey that will determine the future of their lives

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4 .) The Immigrant (2014)

 The Immigrant (2014) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • AZ Central
  • IMDB
  • IMDB
  • Indie Wire

In 1921 New York. an immigrant woman is tricked into a life of burlesque and vaudeville until a dazzling magician tries to save her and reunite her with her sister who is being held in the confines of Ellis Island.

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3 .) In America (2003)

 In America (2003) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • BuzzFeed
  • EW
  • IMDB
  • Indie Wire
  • Ranker

An Irish immigrant family adjusts to life in the United States, a chance to get over the lost son. They have no money and the apartment is in bad condition.

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2 .) The Godfather Part II (1974)

 The Godfather Part II (1974) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • AZ Central
  • BuzzFeed
  • Film School Rejects
  • IMDB
  • Indie Wire

In the continuing saga of the Corleone crime family, a young Vito Corleone grows up in Sicily and in 1910s New York. In the 1950s, Michael Corleone attempts to expand the family business into Las Vegas, Hollywood and Cuba.

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1 .) The Visitor (2007)

 The Visitor (2007) Lists It Appears On:

  • AV Club
  • AZ Central
  • BuzzFeed
  • IMDB
  • Indie Wire
  • Ranker

A college professor travels to New York City to attend a conference and finds a young couple living in his apartment.

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The 200+ Additional Best Movies About The Immigrant Experience



# Movies Lists
(Films Appear On 2 Lists Each)
29 A Better Life IMDB
Ranker
30 Ae Fond Kiss… IMDB
Wikipedia
31 An American Rhapsody IMDB
Ranker
32 Avalon (1990) AV Club
IMDB
33 Biutiful IMDB
Wikipedia
34 Black Girl (1966) BFI
Indie Wire
35 Brick Lane (2007) IMDB
Wikipedia
36 Brooklyn (2015) AV Club
IMDB
37 Crossing Over IMDB
Ranker
38 Dheepan
Film School Rejects
Wikipedia
39 Dirty Pretty Things IMDB
Wikipedia
40 Distant Lights (2003) IMDB
Wikipedia
41 Eden Is West IMDB
Wikipedia
42 Green Card EW
IMDB
43 In This World (2002) IMDB
NPR
44 Inch’Allah dimanche IMDB
Wikipedia
45 It’s a Free World… IMDB
Wikipedia
46 La Promesse (1996) IMDB
Indie Wire
47 Le Havre IMDB
Wikipedia
48 Letters from Alou Ranker
Wikipedia
49 Live and Become IMDB
Wikipedia
50 Lost Boys of Sudan BuzzFeed
IMDB
51 Machan (2008) IMDB
Wikipedia
52 Maria Full Of Grace (2004) AV Club
EW
53 Morgen IMDB
Wikipedia
54 Persepolis
Film School Rejects
IMDB
55 Provoked: A True Story IMDB
Wikipedia
56 Scarface IMDB
Ranker
57 Shun Li and the Poet IMDB
Wikipedia
58 Spanglish EW
IMDB
59 The Joy Luck Club (1993) BFI
IMDB
60 The Other Side of Immigration Ranker
Remezcla
61 The Secret of the Grain (2007) IMDB
Indie Wire
62 Titanic IMDB
Ranker
63 Under The Same Moon IMDB
We Are MITU
64 Which Way Home Remezcla
Spanish Mama
(Films Appear On 1 Lists Each)
65 10th Day Wikipedia
66 30 Days in Atlanta Wikipedia
67 A Girl in Australia Wikipedia
68 A Hearty Response Wikipedia
69 A Private Enterprise Wikipedia
70 A Separation
Film School Rejects
71 Aadujeevitham (film) Wikipedia
72 Acqua Fuori Dal Ring Wikipedia
73 Africa Paradis Wikipedia
74 Alambrista! IMDB
75 Alamo Bay EW
76 Alucarda”
We Are MITU
77 Amerika Square Wikipedia
78 Anita and Me (film) Wikipedia
79 Bajo la misma luna
Spanish Mama
80 Banat (film) Wikipedia
81 Bandhobi Wikipedia
82 Bend It Like Beckham Wikipedia
83 Beyond Borders Remezcla
84 Bhaji on the Beach (1993) BFI
85 Black and White (2008 Italian film) Wikipedia
86 Blue Eyes Ranker
87 Bread and Chocolate Wikipedia
88 Burning in the Wind Wikipedia
89 Colossal Youth (film) Wikipedia
90 Coneheads (1993) Miss Liberty
91 Crash BuzzFeed
92 Cronos”
We Are MITU
93 Danny From North Korea (2013) Miss Liberty
94 Departures (2011 film) Wikipedia
95 Desierto
We Are MITU
96 Dirty Hearts Wikipedia
97 Documented Remezcla
98 Dog Days (2013) Miss Liberty
99 Don’t Tell Anyone Remezcla
100 Elysium (film) Wikipedia
101 Eternity and a Day IMDB
102 Far and Away IMDB
103 Fast Food Nation IMDB
104 Fear Eats the Soul (1974) BFI
105 Feathered Dreams Wikipedia
106 First Snowfall Wikipedia
107 Five Minarets in New York IMDB
108 Flame in the Streets Wikipedia
109 Flores de otro mundo Wikipedia
110 Flowers from Another World IMDB
111 Food Chains Remezcla
112 Forbidden: Undocumented and Queer in Rural America Remezcla
113 Four Sons Ranker
114 Gaijin 2: Love Me as I Am Wikipedia
115 Gaijin: Roads to Freedom Wikipedia
116 God’s Own Country (2017 film) Wikipedia
117 Golden Door IMDB
118 Grow Your Own (film) Wikipedia
119 Growing Up Smith Wikipedia
120 Hasta el viento tiene miedo”
We Are MITU
121 Hatred (2012 film) Wikipedia
122 Heaven’s Gate (1980) AV Club
123 Home Again (2012 film) Wikipedia
124 How I Discovered America Wikipedia
125 I Am Not Lorena Wikipedia
126 I Can’t Sleep (1994) BFI
127 I Nicotera Wikipedia
128 I Remember Mama (1948) AV Club
129 I, the Other Wikipedia
130 Il Gaucho Wikipedia
131 Il Sangue verde Wikipedia
132 Immigrants (1948 film) Wikipedia
133 Immigrants (L.A. Dolce Vita) IMDB
134 Immigration Battle Remezcla
135 In Vanda’s Room Wikipedia
136 James’ Journey to Jerusalem Wikipedia
137 Katzelmacher Wikipedia
138 L’Italia s’è rotta Wikipedia
139 L’uccello migratore Wikipedia
140 La ciudad
Spanish Mama
141 La Haine IMDB
142 La maldición de la llorona”
We Are MITU
143 La Tía Alejandra”
We Are MITU
144 Lamerica Wikipedia
145 Last Resort (2000) BFI
146 Late Marriage Wikipedia
147 Leo Sonnyboy Wikipedia
148 Lethal Weapon 4 Wikipedia
149 Like Crazy Ranker
150 Living on One Dollar
Spanish Mama
151 Long Arm of the Law Part 3 Wikipedia
152 Machete IMDB
153 Man at Sea Wikipedia
154 Man of the Year (1971 film) Wikipedia
155 Man Push Cart (2005) AV Club
156 Man’s Heart Wikipedia
157 Massacre Mafia Style Wikipedia
158 Mayrig Wikipedia
159 Mi Familia (My Family)
We Are MITU
160 Mississippi Masala EW
161 Monsieur Lazhar Wikipedia
162 Moonlighting (film) Wikipedia
163 Mother of Mine IMDB
164 My Beautiful Laundrette Wikipedia
165 My Family (Mi Familia) EW
166 My Son the Fanatic (film) Wikipedia
167 Myna Has Gone Wikipedia
168 Nala Damayanthi Wikipedia
169 Nana Means King Wikipedia
170 New American Girls Remezcla
171 New Friend Wikipedia
172 Nymphomaniac (film) Wikipedia
173 Once You’re Born You Can No Longer Hide Wikipedia
174 Oriundi (film) Wikipedia
175 Ossos Wikipedia
176 Paddington (2014) BFI
177 Palermo or Wolfsburg Wikipedia
178 Paper Marriage Wikipedia
179 Pappa e ciccia Wikipedia
180 Pressure (1976) BFI
181 Pummarò Wikipedia
182 Queenie (miniseries) Wikipedia
183 Ramji Londonwaley Wikipedia
184 Roadtrip Nation: Beyond the Dream Remezcla
185 Russian Disco Wikipedia
186 Salami Aleikum Wikipedia
187 Sallah Shabati Wikipedia
188 Samba (2014 film) Wikipedia
189 Seducing Maarya Wikipedia
190 Serial (Bad) Weddings Wikipedia
191 Silent Nights (film) Wikipedia
192 Simshar (film) Wikipedia
193 Sin País Remezcla
194 Solino Wikipedia
195 Soursweet Wikipedia
196 Spaghetti House Wikipedia
197 Stand and Deliver IMDB
198 Strange Occasion Wikipedia
199 Stroszek (1977) AV Club
200 Sugar (2008) AV Club
201 Terraferma IMDB
202 The Ballad of the Windshield Washers Wikipedia
203 The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel Ranker
204 The Bilingual Lover Wikipedia
205 The Boat Is Full Wikipedia
206 The Cardboard Village Wikipedia
207 The Deserter’s Wife Wikipedia
208 The Emigrants IMDB
209 The Far Country (1986) Miss Liberty
210 The Girl Who Spelled Freedom (1986) Miss Liberty
211 The Girl with the Pistol Wikipedia
212 The Great Man (2014 film) Wikipedia
213 The Hand That Feeds Remezcla
214 The Intouchables IMDB
215 The Journals of Musan Wikipedia
216 The Last Stop (film) Wikipedia
217 The Loser Takes It All Wikipedia
218 The Magnetic Tree Wikipedia
219 The Melon Route Wikipedia
220 The Mongrel Wikipedia
221 The New Land IMDB
222 The Party IMDB
223 The Right Distance Wikipedia
224 The Second Civil War Ranker
225 The Silence of Lorna IMDB
226 The Swissmakers Wikipedia
227 The Terminal IMDB
228 The Wind Blows Round Wikipedia
229 Things from Another World (film) Wikipedia
230 This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse”
We Are MITU
231 Three Colours: White Wikipedia
232 Time of the Gypsies IMDB
233 To Rob a Thief Wikipedia
234 Trevico-Turin: Voyage in Fiatnam Wikipedia
235 True North (film) Wikipedia
236 Una Vida, Dos Países Remezcla
237 Underwater Dreams Remezcla
238 Vendetta Ranker
239 Veneno para las hadas”
We Are MITU
240 Vetri Kodi Kattu Wikipedia
241 West Side Story IMDB
242 Where is the Friend’s Home?
Film School Rejects
243 Who is Dayani Cristal? Remezcla
244 Words and Sins Wikipedia
245 Yasemin Wikipedia
246 Young Tiger (2014 film) Wikipedia
247 Zozo Wikipedia


15 Best Immigrant Film Sources/Lists



Source Article
AV Club Coming to America: 19 movies about U.S. immigration – AV Club film
AZ Central Top 10 films about immigrants – AZCentral.com
BFI 10 great films about immigration and migrant experience | BFI
BuzzFeed 10 Must-See Immigration Related Movies – BuzzFeed
EW Here are 11 movies about the immigrant experience | EW.com
Film School Rejects 11 Essential Movies About The Lives of Immigrants and Refugees
IMDB The Movies About Immigration and Immigrants – IMDb
Indie Wire 10 Essential Films About the Immigrant Experience | IndieWire
Miss Liberty Pro-immigration: Films & documentaries | MissLiberty.com
NPR Arrivals And Departures: Films Explore The Immigrant Experience – NPR
Ranker Immigrants In Film | The Best Movies About Immigration – Ranker
Remezcla 15 Documentaries About the Experience of Undocumented Immigrants
Spanish Mama The Best Resources for Exploring Immigration in Spanish Class
We Are MITU 7 Movies That Represent Different Latino Immigration Experiences In …
Wikipedia Category:Films about immigration – Wikipedia

 

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