Synopsis by Nathan Southern
With her muckraking documentary Letters from the Other Side, social activist filmmaker Heather Courtney probes aggressively the issue of illegal Mexican immigration into the U.S., as it damages, and in some cases destroys, the lives of the women and children left behind - "the survivors." As an emotional catalyst, Courtney makes visual and aural recordings of the women and children, and plays them for the men in the States (filming the men to gauge their reactions), then does the opposite - for an emotionally tumultuous, occasionally overwhelming experience. She repeatedly points out that the survival rate is somewhat low for unauthorized immigrants, as typified by a 2003 case where 19 migrants died of suffocation in a tractor trailer -- thus, when the men leave their significant others, they do so fully aware that they may never see the loved ones again. The documentary caps with Courtney's relentless inquisition of a Department of Homeland Security executive.Letters from the Other Side constitutes an unofficial follow-up to Courtney's nonfiction film Los Trabajadores, a study of immigrant farm labor in the southwestern regions of the United States.
border [geographic], family, homeland, immigration, letter, Mexican [nationality], video-diary