It was 2010 and border issues were really heating up here in Tucson, Arizona. Hundreds of people were dying in our desert, trying to reach America for jobs to feed their children. The ones who made it lived in constant fear of being deported. Parents were dragged off in front of wailing children, not even given a chance to pack a bag or say, “Goodbye.” It wasn’t that long ago that not having papers was considered a misdemeanor, the equivalent of running a traffic light. But politicians used “illegals” as scapegoats, accusing them of causing the recession by taking American jobs. To bolster ratings, the corporate owned media exploited people’s fears by bombarding us with images of crimes conducted by Mexicans. They created the illusion that all undocumented Latinos were violent drug smugglers and home invaders.
389 Miles: Living the Border.” When I arrived at the theater, it was standing room only. But LuisCarlos pulled out a chair for me. The audience watched transfixed as LuisCarlos documented the problems along the border with his camera. Seeing what was really happening was somehow empowering. People asked where they could get copies. He explained how the producers were in the process of getting distribution, so he could only screen his doc in person. I requested the mic. I told him flat out to forget distribution – that this film was too important. With so much miscommunication in the media, it was imperative that as many people as possible see his doc. Incredibly, LuisCarlos agreed. I put out a call to the Reel Inspiration community and my facebook friends asking them to set up public screenings at their clubs, organizations, churches, anywhere. LuisCarlos became an outspoken advocate for the undocumented, travelling the globe to speak on border issues.
(See the entire movie, "389 Miles: Living the Border" for free.)
This story was brought to mind by a recent screening of “Indivisible: Love Knows No Borders” presented by the Arizona International Film Festival.
Road trip! We ride along with a group of college students headed to Arizona. They are in turns excited and contemplative. They hadn’t seen their mothers since their mothers were deported. For one young woman, it had been six years! It’s not hard to get caught up in their whirlwind of emotions. And that’s exactly the point. Social Justice Activist Hilary Linder got fed up with the way that the corporate media was presenting undocumented teens (Dreamers) as statistics, so she set out to humanize their journey. In the doc “Indivisible” she shares three Dreamers stories of growing up in America and their efforts to be reunited with their families through activism.
After watching their profound stories, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as the sobbing teens hugged and kissed their sobbing moms through the metal border fence.
“Indivisible: Love Knows No Borders” is a great example of how powerful films can be – how a film can change people’s perceptions, open their hearts, and inspire action. I’m delighted to continue a Reel Inspiration tradition by putting a call out to our community. Please, support these brave Dreamers by hosting a screening of “Indivisible” at your church, club, organization, or anywhere with a movie or TV screen.
Find out how to arrange for a screening at: http://www.indivisiblefilm.com/
I'm delighted to announce that "Indivisible" won a Special Jury Award for Inspirational Filmmaking at the Arizona International Film Festival!