Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wetback Review

Wetback

Sometimes horror doesn't present itself in terms of graphic cinema, killers, and murders. Sometimes horror presents itself in such a real fashion that it transcends mere explanations and turns our hearts from desensitized and jaded to flesh, a near religious experience occurs when truth and horror mix in documentary format. Much like Snuff was a film that woke me up, this film woke me up and the subject matter seems political up front, but once you get into the film, the graphic nature of the movie presents a much more savage and grotesque view of immigration. You might disagree that this film is not a horror film, but for me, this is one of the most horrific movies I've seen.

Why?

Because this movie documented my story, not my personal exact story, but my story none the less. I got here via my parents, when I was young. We traveled across the border via a Coyote. I rode in the front seat while my father was stuffed in a trunk under a bunch of trash. We made it to America...and my memories of the events are made lucid with documentaries that don't pull punches, just like this one. However, there are horrors to be faced.

The movie I submit for your consideration is Wetback: The Undocumented Documentary.

The movie follows several families trying to get to the United States. The camera doesn't turn away when police show up, when INS raids different locales. The film really shows you how hard it is to get through the nations of Latin America and try to cross the border. The movie sometimes makes the U.S the villains as these people are caught. However, the camera also dives into secret tactics that Latinos use to cross the border.

We also get fed media coverage on immigration. The purpose of the film doesn't seem to showcase a definitive point of view, it doesn't tell you that you should be pro anything. It shows you with film, and while it heavily sides with the Latino side, the film talks to the Minuteman. The Minuteman make the worst arguments for basically ratting out anyone trying to get into our country. It is just saddening really.

Here is a trailer for the movie Wetback:



Is Wetback Scary: Yes.

This film turns to the macabre when they discuss immigrants trying to get into the country by jumping on moving trains. Many of them fall to their death, and even more fall off and get run over by the tracks, leaving them with no legs and in many cases no arms or confined to a wheel chair, all in the name of freedom. The camera shows you these horrendous injuries, unflinching it its pursuit of showing you the unfiltered truth that no media coverage has ever shown.

If that wasn't enough to make your stomach curl, there are stories told of being robbed by machete wielding criminals. Of carrying drugs to escape situations, one man showed his fresh machete wound and said he only escaped because he had some drugs, and gave the drugs to the bandits. (He wasn't using the drugs, he had it only for this purpose) The wound was fresh, red, and looked infected. This is real, not latex or corn syrup.

The overall feel of this film is horrific to me as a human being. You can show me videos of a starving kid in Africa and it is a shock, but you show me a man crying on the border as he is being handcuffed and sent back to Central America after weeks of walking, running and not eating.

In America, people cry that their freedoms are taken away whenever legislation passes, yet they forget how real and scary life is for these people.

I admit, this movie is NOT a straight up horror movie. However, it is scary to me, and horrific the way these people, many of which die or are injured beyond belief...to no sympathy, and are villains in mainstream media; If you are not moved by this than you are not human. Wetback really brought back memories of my families struggle to make it in this land of the "free", and really moved me and scared me. I am blessed to have survived my immigration ordeal, and movies like these remind me that I'm not alone in the struggle for a better life. This is real horror movie to those of us that have experienced the journey, and this is a scary movie if no one is moved by it.



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