Title: The Infiltrators
Distributor: Oscilloscope Laboratories
Directors: Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra
Screenwriters: Alex Rivera and Aldo Velasco
Producers: Cristina Ibarra, Darren Dean, Daniel J. Chalfen
Movie run time: 95 minutes
About: A rag-tag group of undocumented youth – Dreamers – deliberately get detained by Border Patrol in order to infiltrate a shadowy, for-profit detention center. (IMDB)
Thoughts: As a Latinx citizen of the United States it would be assumed that bigotry is no longer surprising. Racism is rooted in the main frame of the land of the free with a caveat heavily noted just after the ideals of welcoming “your huddles masses yearning to be free.” The othering of melanin blessed immigrants has always been touted as a political movement rather than recognized for fear mongering hate it truly is, rooted in the dehumanization of the people that are the core ideals of the United States.
But that understanding still did not prepare me for the bomb shell I encountered half way through the Infiltrators.
It is not the realization that people are being snatched from their homes and placed into camps, well hidden amongst the most touristy parts of the United States, in seemingly purposeful ignorance, that jars you. It is not the stories of youth, emboldened in their empathy, that then utilize their intelligence to hack the system for good either. It is not the flashbacks between the dramatic retellings and the faces of the people affected, their tales embalmed in their mind in a way that you can see a piece of them remains in those crowded prisons, still awaiting the fates that sometimes led to death.
It’s hidden halfway through, and then almost said so quickly amongst tales of people bonding together for a common need that you nearly miss the most tragic view of this historical telling. That the ICE manhandling of American workers, that the deportations of family members and neighbors is tragically occurring during the Obama era.
And it is in that shock that we truly feel the destitute the dreamers are fighting so hard for in the film.
Worth it? The topic is important, its need driven even more so by recent horror stories of hundreds crammed in cages meant for dozens. The film requires full attention as it wobbles between key player substitution and their real life counterparts in a dizzying way, but it’s worth the mental effort. The true heroes of the films reflect the passion they dedicate to their cause, endangering themselves often with sometimes only accomplishing a small portion of their goals. But still they persist and it reflects in the films purpose. I’ll admit the hardest part of the film review was acknowledging the time line. For the dreamers to have to have to go to such lengths in a time of Hope, one can only imagine the efforts needed now in a time of darkness. And that was not only surprising, but heartbreaking.
The movie is now available for viewing at https://theinfiltrators.oscilloscope.net/ and will be released via Video On Demand services on June 2nd.
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