On August 1, 2012, the Indocumentales-Tumbleweed film series showed The Sixth Section by Alex Rivera. As the fourth and final film in this series, viewers appreciated seeing this positive story for the finale. The glimpse into migrant workers starting their own hometown association to support their pueblo back home, provided a powerful example of what it means to be a humanitarian and continuously give back to your community despite distance and stereotypes. The audience expressed that they were particularly surprised by the selflessness of Grupo Unión – going door to door to fundraise, meeting in a makeshift tent in the bitter cold, and continuously taking on projects one after another. One participant questioned why there were no females in the hometown association. This observation lead to a few theories as to how the women might be linked into this story even though they were not shown much.
Overall, the staff was very appreciative that this Indocumentales series was brought to Tumbleweed. Here are a few comments from the participants on the last day:
Which film(s) did you enjoy the most and why?
“I enjoyed all of the movies, but mostly Los Que Se Quedan. It brought me back to my childhood and the way I grew up.” – Lupe Najera, START and Greenhouse Project Case Manager
“The thing I loved most about all of the films that I saw was the way the filmmakers brought the stories of these people to life. Instead of lumping them all together, they showed individual views of an issue that affects millions.” – Erin Garner, Young Adult Program Clinician
What was your impression of immigration before seeing these films? How do you view immigration differently after seeing these films?
“Abstractly, I knew the hardships of getting here, but seeing the danger and risks as our young folks face to follow their dreams was truly enlightening. I am still talking about Which Way Home. I wish we could make everyone who works here see it.” – Gail Loose, Tumbleweed Program Manager.
“My impression prior to seeing the film was that all the fuss going on including the SB1070 law is all pretty stupid. My views have not changed with these films. In fact, they’re probably stronger.” – Maria Plummer, Greenhouse Program Case Manager and Young Adult Program Youth Care Worker
“My views were honestly negative because my family came here legally and I felt it wasn’t fair specifically for Latino immigrants. After watching these films and having discussions, it showed me that the process isn’t the same for migrants from Mexico. I feel completely different and empathetic for these groups of people just trying to support their families.” –Jordanne Lynn Dempster, Tempe Youth Resource Center Youth Care Worker
How has the film series helped you become more educated about the population Casa de Sueños serves? After seeing these documentaries, will you approach your job differently?
“I’m a little more educated, but definitely not educated enough. Having a non-judgmental attitude is one thing, but I’m still ignorant about resources that can help non-papered people achieve their goals. Especially if that involves citizenship.” – Deseure DeBerry, Phoenix Youth Resource Center Youth Care Worker
“These movies inspired me and helped me understand more fully the importance of offering opportunities for the youth to express themselves through active participation in our program and to listen to their needs, as they may be different from our own. This way the program can continue to grow in its capacity to serve other youth.” –Alfonso Ramirez, Casa de Sueños ORR Program Director
“Having family who are illegal and parents who immigrated to the U.S., I understand the issue and love that the movies show the struggle and the reasons why people come to the U.S. I can work on improving my job by being more supportive and encouraging to the youth we serve.” –Estrellita Alvarado, Casa de Sueños Youth Care Worker
Posted by Lindy Drew, Team Coordinator, Casa de Sueños, Tumbleweed Center for Youth Development
Photo credit: http://www.pbs.org/pov/thesixthsection/