About the film: With Wings and Roots

A young generation offers visions of belonging for a world grappling with globalization.

With Wings and Roots juxtaposes the heated struggles around national identity in two cities at the epicenter of migration debates – Berlin and New York– through intimate stories. Four young artists and activists from different immigrant backgrounds challenge what it means to be American and German.

The 90-min documentary accompanies Miman, Sonny, Tania, and Akim over the better part of a decade, as each pass from their twenties to thirties and face important turning points: fighting for citizenship, creating family, establishing careers, and facing violence and trauma. Raised in the global north to families from the global South, they have grown up as insider/outsiders in both mainstream society and “their own” communities. Forced to define belonging for themselves, they forge their own paths through their artwork and activism.

The research and production on With Wings and Roots began in 2006, and spawned the platform Reimaginebelonging.org and the community engagement initiative Wings & Roots.



Christina Antonakos-Wallace, (Director/Producer/Cinematographer/Co-Editor)
Aletta von Viettinghoff (Editor)
Canan Turan (Creative Producer)
Theresa Navarro (Co-Producer)
Jacqueline Görgen (Co-Director, Miman’s Story)
Alex Guy (Composer)


Christina works in the intersection of documentary film, new media, and activism. She received her training in NYC at Parsons School of Design and the New School, supported by a Fight for Your Right scholarship from MTV. Her short films have won several awards including the Euromedia Award for Culture & Diversity and the Media that Matters Change Maker Award 2011. They have screened at over 180 events and institutions, often accompanied by workshops on migration, xenophobia, and identity. Parallel to her personal work, she produces videos for NGOs. WITH WINGS AND ROOTS is a personal project that grew out of her own questions of belonging and social change, raised in the Greek-American community.

With Wings and Roots Teaser

People always try to force this concept of 'roots' on me. On the other side, they describe me as uprooted... pulled from one place and planted somewhere else. I've had to mutate to survive.

Akim, Protagonist Berlin
Image from “Don’t Tell Anyone,” by Mikaela Shwer.

Director Christina Antonakos-Wallace filming protagonist Tania Mattos participating in civil disobedience in New York City.