American Life (Immigration Today) Movies on DVD
When artist Alejandro Santiago last returned to his native village in Oaxaca, Mexico, he was shocked to discover it had been abandoned. After learning that most of his people had migrated to America in search of work, Santiago felt compelled to commemorate those who risked their lives to cross the border. This powerful documentary chronicles his efforts to construct 2,501 life-size sculptures--one for every migrant--in hopes of preserving his beloved community. 57 min. Widescreen; Soundtrack: Spanish; Subtitles: English; interviews; photo gallery. In Spanish with English subtitles.
All five episodes from the first season--"Last Defense," "City Under Siege," "Dead of Night," "The Front Lines," and "No End in Sight"--are included in a two-disc set. 4 hrs. total. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital 5.1; bonus episode.**5 episodes on 2 discs. 4 hrs.**
All 16 episodes from the second season--including "Death on the Rio Grande," "Contraband Highway," "Fog of War," "Manhunt," and "Midnight Drug Run"--are included in a three-disc set. 12 hrs. total. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital 5.1; bonus episode. **16 episodes on 3 discs. 12 hrs.**
Who are the border crossers that die of thirst in the Arizona desert? And, what is Tohono O'odham Indian Nation member Mike Wilson doing to help illegal immigrants that causes such consternation among some political activists? This thoughtful documentary takes a sweeping look at the difficult issues surrounding America's border policies and the citizens most directly affected by the nation's porous borders. 75 min. Soundtrack: English.
Why was Mexican migrant worker Eusebio de Haro Espinosa killed in Texas? Was it a murder fueled by racism and anger over illegal immigration, or was the shooting just a terrible accident? This sensitive documentary examines the controversial tragedy from both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border, where tensions roil over the issue and the perils of vigilante law enforcement. 90 min. Widescreen; Soundtracks: Spanish and English Dolby Digital stereo, English Dolby Digital stereo; Subtitles: English. In English and Spanish with English subtitles/Dubbed in English.
Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman takes on the challenge of exploring the complex and controversial situation at the U.S.-Mexico border, where the problem of illegal immigration continues to spur contentious debate. Featuring interviews with undocumented workers, their families, and members of American law enforcement, this film focuses a critical eye on the conflicting principles driving border control policy. 99 min. Widescreen (Enhanced); Soundtrack: English, French, and Spanish; Subtitles: English; bonus documentary "South" (1999). Two-disc set.
Director Mark Becker brings the controversy over illegal immigration into personal focus with this documentary. Mexican-born Carmelo Muniz Sanchez, a middle-aged mariachi musician who washes cars and performs at bars and clubs in San Francisco, makes the difficult decision to return home to see his family and ailing mother, knowing that they are dependent on the money he sends them from the U.S. 84 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English and Spanish; Subtitles: English; bonus footage; interview; photo gallery; theatrical trailer.
Viable impediment to illegal immigration and drug traffic, or boondoggle of mythic proportions? Both sides of the fence, as it were, are given voice in this documentary look at the origins and ultimate effectiveness of the 700-mile barrier erected on the Arizona-Mexico border, laced with candid observations by border patrol guards, ranchers, and others steeped in the project's controversy. 35 min. Standard; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital mono.
This provocative documentary takes you to the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas--a former medium-security prison that reopened as a holding center for undocumented immigrants. When three attorneys/political activists discover shocking conditions at the facility--including the detention of children--they begin an investigation that sheds new light on American rights and values. 62 min. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo; bonus shorts; featurettes.
Filmed with unprecedented access to America's Immigration and Naturalization Service, this affecting documentary observes the process of interviewing people seeking asylum in the United States. Applicants endure nerve-wracking, difficult interviews with INS bureaucrats who are sometimes cynical, sometimes compassionate, and always faced with the difficulty of determining who will be granted the bounties of American freedom. 120 min. Soundtrack: English; biographies; featurette; interview; outtakes.
Often risking their lives in order to enter the United States, Central and South Americans crossing the border illegally face dangerous obstacles during their trek and a life fraught with various perils once inside the U.S. This provocative documentary, sympathetic to the undocumented immigrant's plight, follows two such travelers in pursuit of a better future. 91 min. Widescreen; Soundtrack: English Dolby Digital stereo; interview.
Stirring documentary concentrates on the dangerous and often harrowing journey that unsupervised young kids from Central and South America take to illegally immigrate into the U.S. on the tops of freight trains traveling through Mexico. Through interviews with these children who only want to reunite with, or provide for family, a powerful picture of a socioeconomic problem is presented, as they detail a trip that often ends in death or capture. 83 min. Standard; Soundtrack: Spanish Dolby Digital stereo; Subtitles: English; deleted scenes; more. In Spanish with English subtitles.