Tuesday, January 18, 2022
ImmigrationProf has many posts about the deaths along the U.S. Mexico border resulting from border enforcement by the U.S. government. This film, so to speak, brings to life the phenomenon,
The website for the documentary Aguilas (Eagles) describes the film as follows:
"Along the southern desert border in Arizona, it is estimated that only one out of every five missing migrants are ever found. Águilas is the story of one group of searchers, the Aguilas del Desierto. Once a month these volunteers—construction workers, gardeners, domestic laborers by trade—set out to recover the missing, reported to them by loved ones often thousands of miles away. Amidst rising political repression and cartel violence, as well as the eternal difficulties of travel in the Sonoran Desert, the Aguilas carry out their solemn task.
Águilas lays bare the tragic reality of migrant death by venturing deep into the wilderness of the borderlands. The desert is a vast cemetery where the bodies and dried bones of migrants lie exposed under the scorching sun. In a world where efforts to humanize the migrant experience often get lost within the statistics and headlines, this documentary provides an observational and poetic response to one of the most pressing issues of our time, undocumented immigration and the hardships of the border crossing experience."
According to a review in the New Yorker, the film is a "documentary by Kristy Guevara-Flanagan and Maite Zubiaurre, who are both professors at the University of California, Los Angeles. Guevara-Flanagan, a filmmaker who has spent two decades covering Latinx communities, teamed with Zubiaurre, whose interdisciplinary research project about border death, art, and activism led the pair to the Águilas. This year, their film won the SXSW Documentary Short Jury Award and the Best Mini-Doc award at the Big Sky Documentary Film Festival."