Genetic genealogy -- DNA testing done for the purpose of learning about one's roots -- has been around for about a decade, but a recent development suggests that we've reached the pioneering sweet spot.
The immigration debate in the United States often centers narrowly around people who cross a border, and their social impacts on the "destination" country. But what if we viewed migration as a social phenomenon, or as a natural process?
Alicia Tamburelli and her generation would do something amazing, something that lesser leaders would deem impossible. From the anonymity of their kitchens, and for decades on end, they managed to protect their families from the perennial failure of their country's political class.
What was more terrible than the civil war of the 1980s and Hurricane Mitch, which ravaged the region in 1998? Tropical Depression 12-E, a storm that dropped more than five feet of water over ten days, forcing 60,000 people into shelters.
The reality now is that civil wars do not remain quarantined within national borders. And that forced migration is not an accidental byproduct of war. Many combatants use the forced movement of people as an intentional war strategy.
The unrest in Tunisia and Libya have turned Lampedusa into a makeshift Ellis Island. Several thousand have arrived from Tunisia, and there's a growing wave from Libya. No one knows when they'll be allowed to leave, or who will accept them.
Lixin Fan's understated doc depicts the chaos surrounding the annual migration of 130 million workers in China. It also tells the devastating story of one family's choices and their hope for the future.