They Have No Reason to Notice A Man Like Me:

                                  Foreignness in Steven Spielberg's The Terminal

  In "Strangers to Ourselves", Julia Kristeva discusses the notion of foreignness

  in contemporary French society, writing that “the foreigner lives within us: he

  is the hidden face of our identity, the space that wrecks our abode, the time in

  which understanding and affinity founder.” The foreigner is something hidden

  within the self, beyond comprehension, and a constant, uncanny threat to one's

  home. Film has long functioned as a window into the cultural subconscious,

  and similar investigations of cinematic otherness have been explored, most

  notably by Robin Wood in his The American Nightmare: Essays on the

  Horror Film. Films in the post-9/11 subgenre continue to operate within the  

  framework of Wood's ideas, however, in post-9/11 texts like Constantine, Inside

  Man, The Avengers, Elysium, and Cloverfield, the foreigner is positioned as an

  Other because of the characteristics that exclude him from the dominant

  group, and he is specifically foreign in that he is not a citizen of the country in

  which he resides. This notion of foreignness is the dominant theme that

  resonates from Steven Spielberg's The Terminal. As an example of the post-9/11

  film, The Terminal's central project is an exploration of the fear and anxiety

  projected upon immigrants by an American society whom, unable and

  unwilling to accept themselves as foreign, seek to either assimilate or reject the

  foreigner in all of its many representations. This fear of the foreigner is

  projected onto the abject body of the film's main protagonist, Viktor Navorski,

  and through his experience of rejection (his exile status), temporary

  assimilation (his learning proper American capitalism, gender norms, and work

  ethic), and inevitable expulsion (his return home), The Terminal ultimately lays

  bare Kristeva's claim that in order to accept the foreigner, we must recognize

  that we are all foreigners. A link to the .pdf can be found here.