A free screening of the documentary film “Crossing Borders,” followed by a Q & A with Guru Ghosh, will take place at 7 p.m. in Squires Colonial Hall.
“Crossing Borders,” filmed by German filmmaker Arnd Wachter, is a documentary following four American and four Moroccan students as they travel and live together for a week in Morocco. Jenny Sax, interim director for Education Abroad, praised the openness of the film.
“In that brief, one-week window, you see huge cultural differences emerge and you see the students wrestle with those differences,” Sax said. “I think it’s really interesting to see how they work them out. There’s some moments of real tension in the film, but there are also moments of real reconciliation.”
There are hopes this event will bring cultural awareness to Virginia Tech’s campus, and incite cross-cultural dialogue between domestic and international students.
“The main topic that the film brings to light is intercultural communication, cultural competency, and what that could mean for us as we move forward societally and globally,” Sax said.
“Crossing Borders” isn’t afraid to ask difficult questions about the presuppositions different cultures hold over one another. The film looks at these questions from the perspectives of the eight students featured in the film in hopes of breaking down barriers between different cultures.
“All kinds of really important questions, I think, percolate up through this film," Sax said. "That’s why I think the conversation with Dr. Ghosh, who will be a truly good moderator for this type of event, will be really enriching for the students who go.”
She is hoping the film will inspire students to address these difficult questions with a newfound appreciation.
“I think at the end of the day, it’s a movie that inspires people who might or might not have thought about these topics — but who don’t really know how they would feel if faced with them themselves — to start thinking about how they might do that,” Sax said. “and to know that there are ways to do it that can be supportive of real pedagogical value. The learning involved is enriching for everybody involved.”
Ghosh, an associate vice president for international affairs, will moderate a discussion with attendees after the screening of the film. Those overseeing the event hope the film will help bring cross-cultural dialogue to Tech.
Betty Watts, administrative assistant at the office of international research, education, and development, is excited about the open format of the Q & A.
“It’s really going to be generated by the questions from the audience,” Watts said. “Dr. Ghosh is also very good at drawing questions out of people.”