Ebb & Flow: The Cinema of the Human Diaspora

Shelly Isaacs
Movies / History

Course Description

In the 20th and now in the 21st century, we have been witnessing the greatest movement of groups and individuals displaced from their homeland. In this series the audience will watch four films that focus on the experiences, hardships and sacrifices of those who have been forced from their homes to seek a better existence, and those who have helped them achieve their goal.


  1. A Touch of Spice - In this journey of a family who emigrated to Greece from Turkey, a young Greek boy goes in search of his path and the lessons of his grandfather; that both food and life require a touch of spice.
  2. Dheepan - A Sri Lankan freedom fighter decides to seek a better life in France. Confronting daily violence reopens his war wounds, and he is forced to reconnect with his warrior instincts to protect the people he hopes will become his family.
  3. Amerika Square - A group of disparate refugees come together in Greece. Seeking to go on to other countries and with nowhere to turn, they rely on a wily tattoo artist to help them achieve their goal.
  4. Up & Down - A comedy/drama from the Czech Republic where several interlocking stories reveal the many faces of a world turned upside down by the worldwide diaspora.

About the Instructor

  • Shelly Isaacs is the founder and host for Cafe Cinematheque, where he shares his passion for film in venues throughout South Florida. Isaacs was a creative director/writer/producer and director in advertising, specializing in film, TV and radio promotion. He holds an MA in Media Ecology Studies from New York University, where he also taught graduate level courses in cultural studies. In 2009 he launched Cinematheque at Sea, making his program available on luxury cruises throughout the world.