Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Documentary about Child Migration to the U.S. Nominated for an Oscar

This year a touching documentary that follows Central American migrants on a dangerous journey through Mexico to the U.S. border has been nominated for an Academy Award, which will take place this Sunday. The film, Which Way Home,  which premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival last year,  is directed by Rebecca Cammisa.

Cammissa’s documentary explores the immigration system through the eyes of young children who are on the dangerous journey of illegally crossing the U.S.-Mexico border by train to either work in the states or to be reunited with their parents. Some of these  children have not seen their parents in years. One young boy featured, who, has not seen his parents in three years just knows his mother lives in New York but has no phone number for her.

The director documented the stories of a number of unaccompanied child migrants on their journey. She met most of her subjects in immigrant detention centers, by the railroad tracks, and at other locations where migrants gathered. She would tell the children that they were filming a documentary and only spent time with children who were open to the idea of being filmed.

Cammissa said of her research on child migrations: “I read about the issue of child migrants which I had no idea about and the more I read it, the more I realized it could be an incredibly visual story, yet a very important one because it didn’t seem like most of the U.S. public is even aware of what’s going on.” Cammisa adds that the film  “also really served a social issue by making people aware of the travesties of what is going on down there and the struggles that migrants are facing so child migrants in particular”.