If one were to believe what is said in the news, then it would be easy to think of Somalia only as a country with pirates, warlords or terrorists. It is not a huge surprise then that Somalis are often viewed with fear and suspicion once they immigrate to the States.
Drawn to the jobs at a local Tyson Foods processing plant Shelbyville, Tennessee has become the home to many Somalian immigrants. Locals however have not greeted their new neighbors kindly. Tensions have developed that are reflective of larger problems within the United States. While large cities often absorb large immigrant populations year after year, many smaller cities have never had to incorporate others. In its own way, Shelbyville serves as a case study of integration.
As the producers explain,
Set in the heart of America's Bible Belt, this film focuses on a small Southern town as they grapple with rapid demographic change and issues of immigrant integration. The film captures the complexity of the African American, Latino, white, and Somali subjects as their lives intertwine against the backdrop of a crumbling economy and the election of a new president.