Border Angels Begins Summer Film Series
By Mario A. Cortez
This week, local nonprofit Border Angels kicked off a series of film screenings centered on narratives which relate to current events, specifically to subjects involving immigration and human rights issues.
“We are retaking something which we have put on before, which is our our movie night events, with the idea of creating awareness of immigration related subjects and what is happening,” said Border Angels founder and director Enrique Morones to La Prensa San Diego.
The series will feature a different movie once a month during the summer season at the Sherman Heights Community Center’s main hall.
The first film screened in this series was Rebecca Cammisa’s “Which Way Home,” a 90-minute work that follows a group of unaccompanied Central American minors looking to reach the United States.
Stephanie Padilla, a PhD candidate at UC Santa Cruz and Border Angels intern, organized the event and selected the films to be projected as part of this series. She believes that the 2009 title is as relevant today as it was then.
“We chose this film because it deals with the struggles faced by unaccompanied child migrants as they cross the border and highlights the reasons why they are driven to cross the border alone without their parents,” Padilla said. “It is a very moving and compelling film.”
The documentary also features Southwest Key, an organization which has recently taken in children separated from their parents and placed them in local facilities, in a number of scenes.
As part of developing the program, Padilla compiled a base of potential films which could be screened as part of this series. Morones and Border Angels general manager Dulce Aguirre Cruz, then worked out which films to show and when alongside Padilla.
“We have a number of films that we plan on showing throughout the summer, some of which deal with U.S. neo imperialism in Latin America and the ways in which the United States is implicated in the reasons behind why people leave their home countries for the U.S.,” she said.
Among the films planned for future screenings are “Harvest of Empire,” a documentary which dives into U.S. military operations in Latin America and their effects, and “Under The Same Moon,” which tells the story of a child crossing the border to look for his mother in Los Angeles.
This first screening also featured a guest speaker who previously volunteered at local Southwest Key Facilities and shared some of his experiences with the children being held there.
Morones, who has been at Southwest key, stated that the children receive good treatment there and that his organization has taken donations and aid to the minors held there during holidays. However, he notes that the children do not belong in custody away from their parents or guardians.
“It is a very sad situation for them in there and you have to treat the kids with love,” he said.
In addition to creating awareness though these film showings and their other efforts, Border Angels is also currently collecting stuffed animals, clothing for children, hygienic products, and diapers for the children held at detention facilities.
Border Angels will announce their next screening in the coming weeks.