Thursday, April 7, 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m., Fahy Hall 236, Seton Hall campus. The event is free and open to the public.
Events in "Stateless" take place during the politically charged climate of the late 1980's. At that time the USSR was home to the largest population of Jews in Europe. Under pressure from various political sources, including that of U.S. Jewry, the Soviet government opened the borders and allowed its Jewish population to leave the country. This time the migrants would have the freedom to choose their destination, but those who hoped to make the United States their home now had to prove "a reasonable fear of persecution." For those born into a climate where discrimination was the norm, this was difficult and without any information or a political voice, they were denied refugee status in ever increasing numbers. This left thousands stranded in Italy -- Stateless.
Michael Drob emigrated from Riga, Latvia, in 1988 at the age of 10. His family was denied refugee status by the United States and remained stranded in Italy for ten months. Deeply affected by this experience, even as a child, Michael wanted to find out the "Why?" behind the denials. His quest, along with support from COJECO's BluePrint Fellowship, resulted in this deeply moving film. He hopes it will serve as a tool to educate future generations about this part of Jewish history and provide answers for thousands of immigrants who shared his family's fate. Michael studied filmmaking at Rutgers University under the tutelage of Oscar winning director Ross Kauffman and has operated his own video production company, Story Tailors, since 2005. "Stateless" is his first foray into documentary filmmaking.
The screening of "Stateless" will be followed by Q&A with the film director. Refreshments will be served.