We, as a country of immigrants, have amnesia, and Giorgio Serafini is trying to help us remember.
Sin Fronteras/Without Borders is a bold look into the conditions of those deported to Mexico in the dead of night and the circumstances under which they have to try to live. This incredible documentary offers a realization of not only what these struggling migrants have to endure to get to the United States, but that their struggles don’t end when they are sent back.
Writer-Director Giorgio Serafini is no stranger to film and has made quite a career for himself directing action and drama. This, his first foray into the documentary genre, successfully establishes him as a multi-faceted talent. Aided by the narration of his wife, actress LaDon Drummond, Sin Fronteras/Without Borders sheds light on the deplorable practice of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in deporting undocumented immigrants during the dead of night; leaving them in a strange place with usually nothing but the clothes on their back; separated from families left behind in the U.S.
The documentary focuses on the Baja California border town of Mexicali. We see the recently deported and the culture shock they must endure as many aren’t even from Mexico, and many more have no friends or family whom they can call. Being transported in the middle of the night leaves them as targets for robberies, assaults, and even murder. Furthermore, in some cases, they are even targeted for abuse by the local police.
The money that many of these migrants send back to their families in Mexico accounts for $20 billion in national revenue. This represents the second largest source of national revenue, behind only oil production. Yet, when a migrant is deported back, he becomes a social pariah, an easy target for ridicule or attack. When dropped off on the streets of Mexicali, these migrants receive no assistance from the Mexican government; no hope.
That is where we are introduced to Sergio Tamai. The documentary follows Tamai, a local Mexicali businessman, who founded Angeles Sin Frontera with the help of volunteers, many of whom are deported migrants themselves. Tamai established Hotel Del Migrante in an old abandoned hotel and offers shelter, food and safety for those recently deported. Director Serafini follows Tamai’s story of hope and respect for the migrants, as he has helped over 70,000 in a little over two years. Angeles Sin Frontera offers shelter and food for three days at no charge. Additional assistance requires a commitment to volunteer to help others. We also get to meet Enrique Morones, founder of Border Angels, and others who work tirelessly from the California-side of the border to help ensure that humanitarian aid is available when needed.
Serafini offers us a glimpse into a world impacted by an unfair and inefficient immigration policy; a policy that is badly in need of reform. We are shown, first-hand, the lives effected by this inefficiency; the many men and women who are trapped in a political and economic quagmire with no chance of escape. We, as a country of immigrants, have amnesia, and Giorgio Serafini is trying to help us remember. You can pre-order Sin Fronteras/Without Borders here http://buff.ly/1wdFtoa
An interview with Director Giorgio Serafini from July 17th 2014 can be read here.