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Missing in Brooks County: a filmmaker interview

Monday, April 12, 2021
6-7:30pm Eastern Time

Go to to register for this event. 

This event is organized by CIFF45 community partners IRTF and Cleveland Print Room.

See the official website for the documentary here.

See the website for Cleveland International Film Festival here.

Film review from Foreign Policy magazine:

The film suggests that the problems in Brooks County [South Texas] are indicative of a broken immigration system, and its casualties haunt the entirety of the 1,954-mile southern U.S. border: Yearly, thousands of migrants traveling northward from Central America risk dehydration, kidnapping, and exposure crossing through wild rivers and desert landscapes to escape violence, corruption, and crime. Much of the responsibility for these deaths, the film argues, is with the Clinton administration’s decision to enact a policy of deterrence in 1994, building on an already-punitive enforcement of borders by the previous government. President George H.W. Bush pushed to increase immigrant detention, expand military support of counterdrug efforts, and remove the due process rights of migrants with criminal convictions, while his successor Bill Clinton focused on preventing immigration altogether by cutting off major border routes. Key parts of the U.S.-Mexico border were shut, funneling wayfaring migrants into the region’s most brutal desert terrain. Since 1998, migrants’ chances of dying at the border versus being apprehended have risen some 20 percent, and between 1998 and 2019, the U.S. Border Patrol recorded nearly 8,000 migrant deaths at the southern border

Film description from Cleveland International Film Festival 45:

Over the last decade, thousands have gone missing in Brooks County, Texas, just north of the Mexican border. In an attempt to circumvent the state’s busiest immigration checkpoint, countless migrants have ventured into the vast ranch lands that surround the area… and many have never been seen again. The haunted landscape of Brooks County is littered with the bodies and belongings of an unknown number of lost souls. All the while, the national immigration debate drags on, rarely taking into account the very real life and death consequences that are felt in the farmlands of Brooks County and elsewhere. And on both sides of the border, heartbroken families are left devastated, desperate to find out what happened to their disappeared loved ones. An illuminating and harrowing documentary film journey, MISSING IN BROOKS COUNTY follows two of these families as they search for answers. As their mysteries unfold, the severity of this broken immigration system becomes more and more apparent. And once you see the reality of these hidden horrors, you won’t be able to look away. (In English and Spanish with subtitles) — G.S.