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I Come From Away: An Immigrant in Maine

Maine Public TV Air Time:
Thur., December 29 at 9:00 pm
I Come From Away still frame from the film

An intimate look inside the immigrant community in Portland, Maine, as told by Nyamuon Nguany Machar who arrived as refugee in 1995 and David Zwalita Mota who came as an asylum seeker in 2019.

Nyamuon Nguany Machar (aka Moon) a charismatic 30-year-old African woman who arrived in Portland with her Ethiopian mother and Sudanese father when escaping war as refugees. This is her story of settling into the whitest state in America. Through Moon's eyes, we experience the immigrant community in Portland with its successes and its burden of continuing racism. Moon is an extraordinary mix of at-risk children's counselor and an activist for refugees and asylum seekers.

We are with Moon inside the city of Portland's dramatic effort to absorb 600 asylum seekers arriving from The Congo with little warning. Their journey had taken them six months finally crossing illegally into the US southern border and being bussed to Portland. One asylum seeker, David Zwalita Mota, tells the story of his life and death journey with his young family to get to Maine, walking through Central America, stepping over dead bodies and being shot by gangs. Moon's poetry (The Scars on My Daddy's Back and I Come From Away) sets the tone for this absorbing story of risk, hope and chasing the American dream. The film is a microcosm of the national debate surrounding immigration. As goes Maine, so goes much of white, rural America.

Produced by Charlie C. Stuart.


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