Telling Migrant Stories (Kobo eBook)
In the media, migrants are often portrayed as criminals; they are frequently dehumanized, marginalized, and unable to share their experiences. Telling Migrant Stories explores how contemporary documentary film gives voice to Latin American immigrants whose stories would not otherwise be heard.
The essays in the first part of the volume consider the documentary as a medium for Latin American immigrants to share their thoughts and experiences on migration, border crossings, displacement, and identity. Contributors analyze films including Harvest of Empire, Sin país, The Vigil, De nadie, Operation Peter Pan: Flying Back to Cuba, Abuelos, La Churona, and Which Way Home, as well as internet documentaries distributed via platforms such as Vimeo and YouTube. They examine the ways these films highlight the individual agency of immigrants as well as the global systemic conditions that lead to mass migrations from Latin American countries to the United States and Europe.
The second part of the volume features transcribed interviews with documentary filmmakers, including Luis Argueta, Jenny Alexander, Tin Dirdamal, Heidi Hassan, and María Cristina Carrillo Espinosa. They discuss the issues surrounding migration, challenges they faced in the filmmaking process, the impact their films have had, and their opinions on documentary film as a force of social change. They emphasize that because the genre is grounded in fact rather than fiction, it has the ability to profoundly impact audiences in a way narrative films cannot. Documentaries prompt viewers to recognize the many worlds migrants depart from, to become immersed in the struggles portrayed, and to consider the stories of immigrants with compassion and solidarity.
Contributors: Ramón Guerra | Lizardo Herrera | Jared List | Esteban Loustaunau | Manuel F. Medina | Ada Ortúzar-Young | Thomas Piñeros Shields | Juan G. Ramos | Lauren Shaw | Zaira Zarza A volume in the series Reframing Media, Technology, and Culture in Latin/o America, edited by Héctor Fernández L'Hoeste and Juan Carlos Rodríguez