Migrant’ handles issues of immigration and second-generation identity in Britain with dexterity and sensitivity, by tying in themes of hope and love

The Structure of the film is well executed. The themes are tied together through rich characterization, plot and premise. The opening depicts James, the young boy absorbed in his storybook world. He is having a picnic on an English lawn with English friends. When he hears his mother arrive back, he shuts away his books. His mother comes into the room and he peeks at her as she applies perfume. This esoteric set-up between mother and child has already enabled a certain amount of tension between the two.
The juxtaposition of his mother entering the room to apply perfume, with music being heard downstairs, lures James from his room curious of the action. He finds his mother, dancing in front of two men. I was expecting violence or at least conflict. Instead James is revealed, with his mother, not angry, but proudly presenting him to her guests. At this point, I’m sharply aware of how my expectations of action have been constructed from other forms of black representation in British media, contributing to a perception that is stereotype. By his mother confronting the situation, the stereotype is banished. She is unashamed of her position. Blaming not herself, but society the audience is offered a fresh perspective on issues surrounding immigration. Encouraging James to read in front of her guests, he articulates the story with a perfect English accent. Delighted, onlookers gaze in admiration, and celebrate by playing and dancing to soul music. The exposition is depicted by a slick, edited interaction of the two generations dancing. James is bemused, but others encourage him. As he does so, one of the more ignorant guests remark how he dances like a white boy. James, offended, escapes to the comfort of his room. The combination of mis-en-scene, slick editing and enables the transition between his identity and theirs and the grey area in between. As his mother enters, he confronts her with hate, confused and bewildered. Initially she’s frustrated, but then she realizes he doesn’t understand, he hasn’t seen her past. Calmly, she tries to explain, blaming discrimination in education to migrated peoples. James recognizes that education is his key to a brighter future
Using a combination of visual signifiers, succinct narrative, and sharp editing the story about one boy struggling with his developing British identity against and within the space of West Indian one, is clearly depicted. The tensions between James and his mother are indicative of immigration tensions still pervasive in contemporary British society, but the love and hope that exist to banish. There is real empathy with the obstacles and conflicts that the characters must face.
The film’s themes play on the differing perceptions between the West Indian generations, the changes in culture and the grey areas in-between. The exposition is seamlessly integrated always sensitive. Every scene drives the action forward. The closing sequence brings the films motivation to the fore. As they dance to soul music, James is the signifier of their hopes for their future in Britain. This is suggesting that there can be a co-existence between West Indian and British culture and identity, but the tensions reveal that the history must be understood, and that this is the link for co-existence.