The Visitor

Directed by Tom McCarthy (co-writer of Up + loads of other stuff)



The Visitor is about an ageing college professor who learns to play the drums.

Alright, it’s not quite as simple as that.

The professor visits his apartment in New York, which he hasn’t been to for a while. When he gets there, he finds a Syrian musician, Tarek, and a Senegalese artist, Zainab, living in his apartment — his landlord figured he could get away with renting it to someone else. He forms a friendship with the couple (eventually) and starts learning how to play the drums from Tarek.

The film then delves into immigration — both Zainab and Tarek are in America illegally. It shows how brutal the process is for everyone involved and how hopeless the situation can become once you’re told to leave the country. It’s tough watching at times, but well worth it.