1.23.2006

Crossing Arizona: Sundance

Joseph Mathews is making waves at this year's Sundance Film Festival with Crossing Arizona. Here's how festival writer Shari Frilot describes it:
Focusing on personal stories of local people on both sides of the border whose lives are directly affected by Washington policies, Mathew follows a dynamic array of individuals: the U.S. Border Patrol, the citizen border-patrol group, Minutemen, Latino activists, and the emigrants themselves. Crossing Arizona is not only essential viewing to understand how a majestic corner of the country has transformed into a political hotbed and deadly immigration flashpoint; it also creates an opportunity to contemplate and question larger issues about the American society in which we live.
According to a post by film producer Dan DeVivo, Chris Simcox of the MinuteMan Project, Ray Ybarra of the ACLU, and Mike Wilson of The Tohono Odham Nation were on hand for the premiere. Afterwards, Devivo writes, "The Q&A afterwards focused soley on the issues. And it was great to have three characters from the film there to shape the debate. Some Minute Men even showed up and we made sure they were able to get tickets to see the film. After the screening, one of them wrote me: "It is, in fact, an utter disappointment that any honorable U.S. citizen would make such a film." The official film site is here. MSNBC talks about the festival's various documentaries here. There's an independent review at Cinematical:
In Crossing Arizona, director Joseph Mathew looks at illegal immigration to America from Mexico by looking at the people and politics of one region, and the end result is a documentary that casts more light than heat on both sides of the issue, even if you can't help but wish the film had actually come up to a slightly more invigorating boil.