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If You Become My Friend: A Film Screening and Conversation with Producer and Director Jennifer Potts

April 2, 2024 @
7:00 p.m.
- 9:00 p.m. Eastern Time
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Still image from "If You Become My Friend."

The Higgins School of Humanities at Clark University is honored to host the Worcester premiere of If You Become My Friend. The documentary captures four unique stories of refugees who fled Afghanistan after the Taliban took control in 2021 and eventually resettled in Worcester, MA. Their narratives demonstrate the diversity of the Afghan languages, cultures, and experiences. Although no two accounts are the same, they share a common theme of making the painful decision to leave behind everything they have ever known—their country, their homes, their jobs, their families, and their friends—to seek safety.

Producer and director Jennifer Potts hosted a refugee family in her home for a month, witnessing firsthand “their unbearable loss of home and purpose, and for some of the adult children, the pain of the separation from their spouses and small children, who were still in Afghanistan, living in hiding.” Potts was inspired to work closely with the Welcoming Alliance for Refugee Ministry (WARM) and volunteers from the Neighborhood Support Teams to identify families who represented a diverse spectrum of the Afghan refugee population in Worcester. Her production team spent one day with each family, communicating through an interpreter to learn more about their journeys to the US and their lives before coming to this country. Over beautiful meals graciously prepared in their new homes, the refugees revealed their hopes and dreams, struggles and fears.

“Their stories are stories that need to be documented and shared,” Potts says. “They are the living history of our city and country, and I am afraid that one day we will look back on this time and forget these stories. They will become watered down. And this slice of human history will be lost.”

Admission to the screening is free and open to the public. Immediately following the film, Jennifer Potts and other special guests will engage in a short discussion with the audience. For the safety of the film’s participants, the use of cell phones and all other recording devices will be strictly prohibited during the screening and discussion.

This program is supported in part by a grant from the Worcester Arts Council, which was made possible with American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) Funding from the City of Worcester.

Sponsored by the Higgins School of Humanities in honor of Asian American and Pacific Islander Month at Clark University

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April 2, 2024
7:00 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.


Clark University, Higgins Lounge, Dana Commons – 2nd Floor
36 Maywood Street
Worcester, MA 01610 United States
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Higgins School of Humanities