Synopsis by Hal Erickson
Filmed in 13 different countries, the public TV documentary Dying to Leave chronicles the desperate and often dangerous methods by which aliens try to smuggle themselves into the United States and other "lands of opportunity." Even those who survive being stuffed into oil containers or secreted within the chassis of an automobile have no guarantee that their lives will improve once they have left their native country. The film focuses on several illegal aliens whose dreams turned to nightmares upon arriving in their new homes: a Chinese laborer forced into "debt bondage," a Thai teenager relegated to an Australian brothel, a Russian mail-order bride sold into sexual slavery, and many others. Dying to Leave first aired in the U.S. as part of PBS' Wide Angle anthology.