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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Loft screens border issues film ‘Trails of Hope and Terror’


    Courtesy of Vincent De La Torre

    Southern Arizona has a lot of history — from Tombstone to the infamous Tucson Ring Meteorite to the Tucson Gem Shows. But a major concern nationwide occurs here as well: the issue of immigration.

    The Loft Cinema will be screening the Tucson premiere of Vincent De La Torre’s film “Trails of Hope and Terror” on Thursday. The film is based on the book of the same title by Miguel A. De La Torre’s, Vincent De La Torre’s father. Both the film and book explore the plight of the undocumented Latin American immigrant from their perspective in a mix of hope and terror.

    The film follows the stories of two teenage girls, with one tale hopeful and the other terrifying. It shows how militarizing the border has created abuse and death to those crossing it. But it also reveals how some migrants become united from their disenfranchisement.

    “I’m an ethicist; I deal with social issues,” said Miguel A. De La Torre, a professor at the Iliff School of Theology in Denver, Colo. “I was invited by some of the cofounders of No More Deaths to visit them in the desert and see for myself what was going on.”

    Miguel A. De La Torre said it was after this experience that he decided to write his book on this issue from the point of view of the immigrants crossing the desert. The book was eventually released in 2009.

    Miguel and Vincent De La Torre have been filming the screen adaptation of the book in Arizona for the last year-and-a-half. The father and son have interviewed many volunteers from Tucson Samaritans and No More Deaths, two charity organizations who offer humanitarian aid to migrants crossing the border.

    “When they got to the point where the film was almost completed, they offered to make the film available to us as a fundraiser at no charge,” said Michael Hyatt, representative of Tucson Samaritans.

    All proceeds the film will make will benefit the humanitarian aid in the U.S./Mexico borderland. The fundraising is brought together by Tucson Samaritans and No More Deaths, according to Jim Marx, a representative of No More Deaths.

    “Our hope is that people in the community will be interested to come to this event with questions and answers afterwards,” Marx said.

    Hyatt added that both De La Torres would be present at the event before and after the film for a discussion with the audience.

    “[Tucson Samaritans and No More Deaths] thought it would be a good opportunity for people here in the border regions to see this work,” said Marx on getting involved with the film and the event.

    Marx added that the film would help call attention to the plight of migrants and the current immigration laws in need of change.

    “It won’t be a huge money-maker,” Marx said, “but our interests are always about educating people on what’s going on and the truth about what’s happening and giving people who usually don’t have a voice, a voice.”

    The most humbling part of the journey, Miguel A. De La Torre said, is listening to the individual stories of migrants, whom he considers to be more articulate than someone with a Ph.D.

    “I would hope that people will take away a commitment to do something and not just coming and looking,” he said.


    Follow Ivana Goldtooth on Twitter.

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