Saturday, December 1, 2018

At the Movies: The Long Ride, A Documentary


The Long Ride introduction (2:36) from Valerie Lapin Ganley on Vimeo.

The Long Ride, a documentary film about the historic 2003 Immigrant Workers Freedom Ride which sparked a new Civil Rights Movement for immigrant workers and  comprehensive immigration reform.  The film, which was released in 2017, won the Best Documentary Award at the Immigration Film Fest in Washington, D.C. last month and a Mención Honorifica at X Encuentro Hispanoamericano de Cine y Video documental: Contra El Silencio Todas Las Voces in Mexico City, in addition to screenings at numerous other film festivals and community events in the U.S., Mexico and Spain.

Alarmed by the increase in immigration raids, deportations, family separation, and attacks on workers’ rights, more than 900 immigrants and allies traveled across America to focus public attention on the plight of immigrant workers and to call for reform of the broken immigration system. They were inspired by the 1961 Freedom Riders who risked their lives fighting to end segregation. The film chronicles their journey focusing on 106 Riders from Northern California.  Their first stop after boarding buses in the Bay Area was at the State Capitol for a rally where several Sacramento residents joined the Ride.  During the 12 day trip, they met with local activists, held press conferences and participated in demonstrations in support of immigrant rights.  In Washington, D.C., they called on lawmakers to  pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation including a pathway to citizenship, family reunification, stronger workplace rights and civil rights for all.  The film is laced with personal accounts of the Riders own experiences as immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers.  The last 12 minutes of the 77 minute documentary provides updates with several Riders on the on-going fight for immigrant rights to this day including both challenges and successes such as enactment of several pro-immigrant laws in California. The film is a valuable educational tool and blueprint for how to take action for social justice. 

You may find more information about the film at


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