Film Series Focusing on ‘The Human Face of Immigration’

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Sept. 15, 2006 — The College of Health and Human Services and the Department of Social Work at Southeast Missouri State University are presenting the fall 2006 Social Justice and Diversity Film Series. 

The title of this year’s film series is “The Human Face of Immigration.”  Three films highlighting the social, economic, political and religious issues involved will be presented during the Common Hour in Crisp Hall Auditorium, Room 125, beginning Sept. 20 and continuing on Oct. 18 and Nov. 15.  

The films will be shown at noon in Crisp Hall Auditorium, Room 125. There is no charge, and everyone is welcome to attend. The film series is sponsored by the Southeast Missouri State University College of Health & Human Services and the Department of Social Work.

The first film in the Social Justice and Diversity Film Series will be “Walking the Line” and will be shown at noon Sept. 20. “Walking the Line” offers a harrowing view of the chaos, absurdity, and senseless deaths along the U.S.-Mexico border through private citizens who are taking the law into their own hands.  The region, celebrated for its history of lawlessness, has become the most highly trafficked areas for immigrants in the world and one of the most dangerous. A shift in border policy forces immigrants to cross the unforgiving desert where thousands die; those who make it face volatile civilian militias.  Following rancher vigilantes with semiautomatic weapons, outlaw pastors with four-wheel drives, and impoverished immigrants with dreams of a better life, the film explores the uncertain line between what is patriotic, what is moral and what is just.

The second film is “Dying To Live: A Migrants Journey” and will be shown at noon on Oct. 18. “Dying to Live: A Migrants Journey” explores who these people are and why are they risking their lives to enter the United States? In seeking to answer that question, the film provides both a look at the human face of the Mexican immigrant, including scenes of the harrowing journey migrants undertake to cross the U.S. border, and a discussion of the social, economic, political and religious issues involved.  The 33-minute film, along with bonus material, was scripted and produced by Father Daniel Groody, assistant professor of theology at Notre Dame, and his cousin, Bill Groody, who has worked in radio and television production.

The third and final film in the series is “In The Land Of Plenty” and will be shown at noon on Nov. 15. Not Since “Grapes of Wrath” has there probably been a more poignant picture of the migrant farm worker than this documentary. The “Land of Plenty” has the added dimension that the workers are Mexican immigrants.  Most do not speak English and are undocumented with no means of protecting themselves from exploitation. These workers had little choice but to leave the villages in Mexico that could not offer them a livelihood.

For more information call (573) 986-6882; (573) 986-7396; or e-mail phornby@semo.edu.