Powerful documentary about contemporary US-Mexico Border policy and reality
Just saw "Letters from the Other Side" being screened by CHIRLA, and was really blown away by the production quality and richness of the messages. The film offers a fresh angle on the impacts of transnational migration (esp. rural to urban migration), focusing on the material and emotional impacts on families whose members are split across the US-Mexico Border.
Particularly poignant are the 'video letters' which the director helps share between wives and husbands, mothers and sons, sisters and brothers, as well as with US immigration officials. This film should be noted for the relationships of trust that the film maker established with several families, which let her into their homes and personal moments of their lives.
Altogether, this film should be seen by all interested in US immigration policy. Studying the psychological toll of families driven across the Border by trade liberalization policy (NAFTA), it tallies the human toll of the Border counted in the growing number of lives lost in dessert crossing, distorted hopes for a better life, abandoned agrarian livelihoods and in many other dimensions. The film can even be considered "longitudinal" data on migration, since families' lives are followed during critical periods where they make life altering decisions, and where children grow into young adults. Make sure you see this!
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