Out of Many, One
Working with eager, serious-minded people who are committed to their goals, Samantha Rijkers (a naturalized American herself) conducts a citizenship class in OUT OF ONE, MANY. Over a period of weeks, students study maps, reflect on a number of historical paintings, and are given important facts about the United States, enabling them to both pass the Citizenship Test and better understand the principles that define the country. Along the way, directors John Hoffman and Nanfu Wang spend considerable time with some of the students in interviews. Viewers learn about Jian Zhang, who came to the U.S. to earn his Ph.D. in physics and now teaches. They visit with the Aristizabal family from Columbia, who, having lived in the U.S. for decades, want to attain legal status. Viewers meet Fanny Bello, Venezuelan's former Minister of Agriculture, who seeks asylum because of her resistance to Hugo Chavez, former dictator of the country. The film concludes with two intercut ceremonies, led by Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and District Judge William Kuntz, as the grateful candidates are sworn in.
Director John Hoffman, Nanfu Wang