Others have discovered freedom in the identical, turning into pure shape-shifters whose worth programs transcend borders to instill a way of house. Probably the most well-known instance might be Barack Obama, whose 1995 memoir, “Dreams From My Father: A Story of Race and Inheritance,” whirls by means of Jakarta, Seattle, Kenya and Hawaii with unsparing evaluation of what it means to belong to a number of worlds and due to this fact to none of them, however to search out, later, that refuge lies within the house between all of them — and within the means to unite not simply your worlds however others’, too. As a lot because the third-culture expertise is clouded by the fog of liminality, it’s knowledgeable additionally by the power to outline oneself on one’s personal phrases, troublesome as that endeavor could also be within the face of accelerating scrutiny towards globalism and people fashioned by it.
The presentation of this — dazzling and dressed up — is what makes “We Are Who We Are” thrilling to look at. Its characters come alive within the blur, filling in each other’s areas and dancing over questions of house, whereas bragging about the place they’ve been, their exchanges captured in shimmering, slow-motion interludes scored to unique music, the silky synth pop of Blood Orange. And whereas the present takes place within the run-up to the 2016 election, its politics stay a quiet drumbeat within the offing, its highlight centered wholly on all of the methods by which variations are, in actual fact, paradoxically harmonious when everyone seems to be otherized. In fashioning themselves to evade conventional modes of identification (culturally, politically, sexually and thru gender), these characters construct their very own castles within the sky. “If you develop up this fashion, there’s a feeling of being misplaced, however to be misplaced can be to be open,” Guadagnino says. “It reminds us of our empathy, and of what we share if we have been solely to attempt to discover it.”
This can be the last word lesson of third-culture children’ tales. Within the late Kobe Bryant’s 2018 ebook “The Mamba Mentality,” which gives a glimpse into his childhood years in Reggio Emilia, Italy, he discusses the significance of getting realized how one can navigate a brand new tradition with compassion. Although he ultimately settled down in America — turning into not solely certainly one of its sports activities heroes, however certainly one of its cultural icons, too — he continued to make frequent journeys again to Italy, the place he’d converse the type of Italian that boasted a local European bravado, an informal swagger that rode alongside his excellent pronunciation. And when he died in Los Angeles, he died in Reggio Emilia, too, the place they mourned a model of him America by no means knew, apart from the Italian names he had chosen for his daughters: Gianna, Natalia, Bianka and Capri.