About The Film
In a world of six billion people, it only takes one to change your life. In actor and filmmaker Tom McCarthy’s follow-up to his award-winning directorial debut The Station Agent, Richard Jenkins (Six Feet Under) stars as a disillusioned Connecticut economics professor whose life is transformed by a chance encounter in New York City.
Sixty-two-year-old Walter Vale (Jenkins) is sleepwalking through his life. Having lost his passion for teaching and writing, he fills the void by unsuccessfully trying to learn to play classical piano. When his college sends him to Manhattan to attend a conference, Walter is surprised to find a young couple has taken up residence in his apartment. Victims of a real estate scam, Tarek (Haaz Sleiman), a Syrian man, and Zainab (Danai Gurira), his Senegalese girlfriend, have nowhere else to go. In the first of a series of tests of the heart, Walter reluctantly allows the couple to stay with him.
Since 9/11, authorities have arrested and detained over 1,200 people in connection with terrorism. But their identities, whereabouts and the actual charges brought against them have been withheld from their families, the media and the public. The Social Action Campaign for The Visitor addresses the questions of due process, detention and deportation of refugees and immigrants in a nation built by immigrants on the guiding principle of justice for all.
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