Friday, October 29, 2010

Social media and cultural exchange

Coincidentally, I saw two movies in the same night, thanks to an invitation by Triwaks Communications to the premiere of "Social Media," the story of Mark Zuckerberg (through a Hollywood lense of course), and "The Hebrew Lesson", a small independent film about Ulpan Gordon, the hebrew language school that I am attending right now. 

"Social Media"
This is the dramatized story of the founder of Facebook (founded in 2004).  It's shot on location at Harvard, and the jury is out on whether there was a brief reference to Wellesley in there.  It shows the interesting series of decisions and driving motivations behind a "genius mind."

"The Hebrew Lesson"
This documentary followed a class of students in 2004 from January through June.  These stories ranged from a Russian man who came here to be closer to his young daughter and astranged ex-wife, to a Chinese woman who worked as a housekeeper and married the man she kept house for, to a Peruvian woman who came here to serve in the army and stay with her boyfriend then becomes pregnant.  It is a movie about relationships and the process of adjusting to foreign culture.  A woman in my class hosted the screening at her apartment.  She is a German woman with an Israeli partner.  Watching the movie was a bit like watching our own class on film.  (albeit more dramatic than ours, but maybe I just don't know my classmates well enough yet).

These two movies together, which were not in any way associated, held common relationship themes that kept both of the stories engaging, despite completely different formats and content.  Both took us through the process of individuals coping with the challenges of trying to assimilate to a culture that was not their own.  Some "failed" and/or gave up, while some persisted and created a new reality for themselves and others.   Either way, time keeps passing for all.

1 comment:

  1. I believe the film you are trying to reference is called "The Social Network" and even won a few Oscars.

    - A fellow American in Tel Aviv. (although not a Wellesley alum to be sure)