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From today until Friday, July 8th, the free KTQ50 (Kartemquin at 50) series is “The New Americans,” a 2003 epic 7-hours long documentary series that honors the immigration experience – just in time for July 4th of course! But it’s also especially timely, given what feels like a surge in anti-immigrant sentiment in the USA, and other parts of the world (think about what motivated today’s #Brexit vote as one key current example).

“The New Americans” follows four years in the lives of a diverse group of contemporary immigrants and refugees as they journey to start new lives in America: Two families of Nigerian refugees (including the sister of slain Ogoni activist, Ken Saro-Wiwa) escape government persecution; Two Los Angeles Dodgers prospects follow their big dreams of escaping the barrios of the Dominican Republic; A Palestinian woman who marries into a new life in Chicago only to discover in the wake of September 11, she cannot leave behind the pain of her homeland’s conflict; an Indian couple living in Silicon Valley through the dot-com boom and bust; and a Mexican meatpacker who struggles to reunite his family in rural Kansas.

A kaleidoscopic picture of immigrant life and a first impression of the U.S. that few born in America can imagine, Kartemquin is making the series available for streaming for TWO FREE weeks

The series was acknowledged with a slew of awards and at special screenings including the Gold Hugo, Best Television Production (2004) at the 40th Chicago International Television Competition; International Documentary Association awarded it the Best Limited Series Award (2004); it was a featured PBS Independent Lens Series (2004); and Official Selection of the Stranger Than Fiction Documentary Film Festival in Ireland (2004).

“The New Americans” is available on DVD here.

In 2016, several organizations in Chicago and around the country will host a series of screenings and events to celebrate Kartemquin’s 50th anniversary. You can also watch all our their for free, week by week, at

See the full #KTQ50 streaming schedule and more information at