In search of an answer as to why people risk their lives to come to the United States, Emmy® Award winning filmmaker Lourdes Lee Vasquez embarked on a journey in 2007 to uncover the root-cause of mass, unauthorized migration in a documentary called The Immigration Paradox. She interviewed a wide array of ordinary people and experts on immigration, from backgrounds that include economics, sociology, philosophy, history, public policy and activism—in an effort to gain different perspectives and viewpoints on the controversial and divisive issue at hand.
In an exclusive interview with La Voz, a newspaper for Phoenix, Arizona, Vasquez admits that she started the project seven years ago with the intent of presenting only two different viewpoints on the topic of immigration. However, as she delve into the interviews of several different people, she and her film team realized that not everything is “black and white,” and that there does exist a variety of standing points on the subject matter.
The Immigration Paradox is Vasquez’ effort to unite the community and call for dialogue among people “that will lead to “constructive solutions” to ending the vicious cycle in which we have lived of blaming each other for the effects of immigration in our country. She stated that the seven-year adventure of producing this documentary gave her “fear, anxiety, peace and hope, but above all…faith for our humanity and that’s what kept [her] going”.
The film premiered on September 27th in a red carpet event at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix, Arizona. And, although Bryan Vasquez, the co-producer and main photographer for the film, has not set specific dates for future showings, he does hope to “provide avenues for further distribution—venue showings in and around Arizona, California, [and] Texas.” Check out Tipmovie.com to watch a trailer of the documentary and to stay updated on future events as well as DVD and Blu-ray release dates.
You can also like The Immigration Paradox Facebook page for more news and updates!
Similar to Vasquez, I feel that I have encountered a similar sense of realization through the course of the semester learning and exploring immigration. I came into the course expecting simplistic perspectives on why mass migration of undocumented individuals into the Unites States. However, I came to discover that while people blame one factor, people, or another, there is more to the spectrum that needs to be examined. Factors society generally overlooks need further recognition because comprehensive awareness over the topic will lead to a “solution” that will prevent anymore blaming and restore order within the nation for both undocumented immigrants and documented individuals.
I agree with Jessica, I also had the mentality that immigration had only two sides and that it was very simple. As the course has progressed I have learned to analyze the different perspective immigration has and learn that immigration is a very complex topic. I am very happy that Vasquez made this film, because it will give other people the opportunity to look at all the perspectives of immigration. This film will help people think of ways to help prevent immigration as well as help current undocumented immigrants. I hope this film will encourage others to stop playing the blame game, and act now. No one is really at fault for immigration that is occurring, but as a nation we could come up with other “solutions”. In my opinion, it was about time someone produced a film that discussed the topic immigration without censoring it.
Documentaries are usually seen as serious films that allegedly tell “the truth” behind a theme, without biases. I’m glad this filmmaker chose to create a documentary on a controversial issue such as immigration. A lot of people are not truly informed about the reality behind immigration so having this visual will help a lot of people get informed. I’m curious to see the approach she took with this film. Even though her goal is to portray the different aspects of immigration, I wonder if her bias will slightly interfere with the message she tries to put across. This is sometimes unavoidable. Even if we are able to see her personal point of view, it is imperative to have a film like this one out there, for people to see and begin to understand certain topics that can be explained and not be misinterpreted and misunderstood in so many ways.