Film Documents the Undocumented in America

Each day, more than 1,000 people are deported from America because they are undocumented citizens.
A free screening of the film “Documented” was shown at the U Tuesday in the Film & Media Arts building to show students, faculty and staff how corrupted the immigration system in the United States has become.
The film is a documentary directed by a man labeled as an illegal immigrant who chooses throughout the film to refer to himself and others as “undocumented Americans.”
The film website said the director, Jose Antonio Vargas, was put on a plane to America when he was 12 years old and hasn’t seen his family since.
“This is not the film I set out to make, but it is the film I needed to make,” Vargas said in the purpose section of the website. “A broken immigration system means broken families and broken lives. I did not realize how broken I was until I saw how broken Mama was. In the process of documenting myself, I ended up documenting Mama — and the sacrifices of parents who make America what it is, then and now. And in telling my own specifically universal story, I hope it incites others to tell their stories too.”
Vargas said the purpose behind the film was to force the viewers to ask new questions about immigration and have direct conversations centered around the issue. The film urges viewers to define America, what it means to the individual and what they think it means for the citizens referred to as illegal immigrants.
Marissa Lindley, an undeclared freshman, said the controversial nature of the film inspired her to attend.
“It’s so interesting to watch things that I didn’t know about before. A lot of students wouldn’t take the time to learn about these things otherwise, so I really like the opportunity,” Lindley said.
Lindley also thinks learning about a topic that doesn’t directly influence her has a value in and of itself.
“It’s important to be educated and to know about your surroundings,” she said. “Even though I personally do not have to worry about the issues discussed in the movie, the issues are intertwined in my country, so if I don’t know what is going on, I can’t have an opinion.”
Skyler Woolley, a sophomore in mechanical engineering and design, said he thinks the movie is useful based on educational value.
“It’s great that the U hosts the screenings because it educates the students and the community,” Woolley said. “It’s important to know what is around, and we need to know as much as we can about our country. I wish I knew more.”
Woolley said he was glad the U screened the movie for free.
“I love that the U offers free movies because I am a college student, so it’s nice to have the option,” he said.
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@JulianneSkrivan