explores the universality of trauma, resilience, and healing in immigrant communities


Regular price $349.00

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Educational Media Reviews Online | American Public Health Association Film Festival |   World Health Organization Turkey | Integrative Medicine for the Undeserved Conference

Public Health • Integrative Medicine • Immigration Studies • Refugees • Health Equity • Race, Culture & Ethnic Studies • Anthropology • American Studies

Date of Completion: 2020 | Run Time: 87 minutes​​ | Language: English, Spanish, Khmer, Mam, French, Swahili | Captions: Yes Director: Michelle Grace Steinberg | Producer(s): Michelle Grace Steinberg & Robyn Bykofsky

A PLACE TO BREATHE explores the universality of trauma and resilience through the eyes of immigrant and refugee healthcare practitioners and patients. This feature-length documentary intertwines the personal journeys of those who are transcending their own obstacles by healing others. Combining cinema vérité and animation, the film highlights the creative strategies by which immigrant communities in the U.S. survive and thrive.

The film weaves together the arcs of Rodrigue (DR Congo), Socheat (Cambodia), Norma (Guatemala), and the young couple Edgar and Yania (Mexico and Uruguay) as they pursue their dreams of supporting their communities’ healing. Common ground and chance connections join these unique stories as the film humanizes those who have migrated here, sharing their wisdom and perspectives that enrich and strengthen our communities. This is more critical than ever with the devastating effects that COVID-19 is having on communities of color and immigrant populations. A PLACE TO BREATHE moves audiences to envision new understandings of wellness for all.

Educational Media Reviews Online (EMRO) | Shanna Hollich, Interim Director of Library Services, Wilson College
"This film is highly recommended and could be used across a variety of subject areas, including health sciences; sociology and social work; American studies; race, culture, and ethnic studies; global studies; and political science."

Eat Drink Films | C.J. Hirschfield
"What if health providers and practitioners prescribed ceremonies, rituals, festivals and other community activities as medicine to treat trauma? The excellent new documentary A Place To Breathe would argue that distressed refugees, in particular, would benefit greatly, and the film effectively argues this route as a way to foster resilience."






Michelle Grace Steinberg, M.S. is an independent filmmaker based in Oakland, CA and founder of Underexposed Films. Michelle is the director, producer, cinematographer, and primary editor of A PLACE TO BREATHE (2020) and BEYOND RECOGNITION (2014) in partnership with producer Robyn Bykofsky. A PLACE TO BREATHE premiered at the San Francisco Documentary Film Festival in September 2020 and is currently on the festival circuit. It won the Interfaith Documentary Award at the 2020 St. Louis International Film Festival. The film did a two-week theatrical run at the Roxie Theater in San Francisco, CA. BEYOND RECOGNITION is currently broadcasting nationally on Public Television and won Best Short for the 2015 San Francisco Green Film Festival, as well appearing in numerous other festivals internationally, including Wild & Scenic, Cinequest, and DC Independent.  In 2012, Michelle produced, directed, filmed, and edited her first film BURIED VOICES. The film screened at the American Indian Film Festival as well as other festivals, conferences, and grassroots venues; it is used as curriculum at several universities. Aside from filmmaking, Michelle is the Nutritionist and Herbalist at Street Level Health Project, a Spanish bilingual free clinic, where she has been running her integrative medicine services in conjunction with the healthcare team there since 2009. She was on the board of directors of Integrative Medicine for the Underserved from 2016-2020, and won the American Herbalist Guild 2015 Award for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity. Michelle originally hails from Washington, D.C. and received a Bachelor's degree in Cultural Anthropology from Wesleyan University and a Master's degree in Human Nutrition from the University of Bridgeport.

Upon request, the filmmaker can be accompanied by either individuals featured in the film who are themselves immigrants serving as Medical Providers or Community Health Workers in their own communities, or those in leadership roles at either of the two clinics featured in the film. These individuals can speak to both their own experiences and best practices for culturally-responsive, community-led healthcare models.