Immigrant Children: Topic for Oscar-Nominated Documentary

Among the nominees for Best Feature Documentary at the 2010 Academy Awards was a film called, Which Way Home. The story chronicles the lives of several immigrant children as they make their way across Mexico on a freight train called “The Beast.” Among the immigrants are two Honduran children – nine years old – trying to reach their relatives in Minnesota; another young Honduran, who, at fourteen, is sent to the United States by his family, hoping he can make money to send home; and a ten-year-old Salvadoran who winds up in a Mexican detention center after smugglers abandon him. The film was directed by Rebecca Cammisa (Sister Helen) and produced by a team including actor John Malkovich (Dangerous Liaisons).

As it turns out, Which Way Home was bested at the awards ceremony, but even a nomination for an Academy Award can bring much-needed attention to socially-conscious documentaries and the issues they raise. Let’s hope that Which Way Home, and other films like it, will be seen by enough people to influence the immigration debate in a favorable direction, helping build the momentum needed to create a more humane immigration system, when Congress finally gets around to it.

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