Three Films of Yehuda Sharim


  • John T. Caldwell



Within our current moment of scripted immigration crisis it is difficult to grasp fully how the delegated punditry of 24/7 news media reportage in the United States has effectively muzzled the actual voices of immigrants and refugees. This is certainly true until one screens three recent films by media artist and filmmaker Yehuda Sharim. I thought a great deal about the art of media silencing while watching Sharim’s films We Are In It (2016), Seeds of All Things (2018), and Songs That Never End (2019). Together this trilogy of feature-length documentaries shows Sharim to be a careful listener of the words spoken by immigrants and an acute observer of the alienating human conditions afforded newcomers in the United States. More disturbingly, his films demonstrate that this verbal silencing and these conditions for immigrants and refugees are systemic, intentional, and institutionalized: expressions of an official, smothering U.S. stance.