The Invisibles. A Hidden Journey across Mexico. (Marc Silver & Gael García Bernal, 2010)
Documentary can be a powerful politicalinstrument, to give voice to the voiceless, and to raise awareness and responses in the international community. Amnesty International, producer Marc Silver, and internationally acclaimed Mexican actor/director Gael García Bernal knows this well. The Invisibles (A Hidden Journey across Mexico) is part of a wider Amnesty International campaign aimed at defending migrants passing across Mexico and raising awareness and actions against a tragic human rights crisis occurring right now.
Every year, 400,000-500,000 Central American and other migrants travel across Mexico in an often tragic attempt to reach the Promised Land on the other side of the Rio Grande. Kidnapping, extortion, rapes, murder and disappearance of human beings (los migrantes desaparecidos) accompanied their journey, which they endure anyway in the hope of a new life (for them and their children) far from the poverty they have left behind. It is a long-running human rights crisis which “should have been a priority” and which instead is concealed in silence. (see, article on the film at http://bit.ly/zUHksD).
The Invisibles, their families and thefew supporting organisations tell this story: aiming on the one hand, to shed light on the plight of migrants travelling through Mexico, to inform and prepare the Central and Latin American communities to the difficulties of the journey (the ‘train of Death’); on the other hand, to put pressure on the Mexican government to fulfil its obligations to protect the migrants and on the International community to recognise it as a human rights crisis and act accordingly.
The film chapter we have chosen gives voice to the families left behind, and to those working to turn the invisible visible. ‘’There need to be official records of migrants deaths – not only so that they are no longer disappeared, but that in life, they cease to be invisible’’, the chapter concludes.
See the four-part documentary in full on Amnesty’s website (English subtitles): http://www.amnesty.org/en/news-and-updates/watch-invisibles-2010-11-02. Amnesty International has just released another film on the subject, see: http://sendsocks.org/
Background on the film makers:
Marc Silver (http://www.marcsilver.net/) “was born in London and works worldwide as a filmmaker and creative director. He has collaborated with several major artists such as Nitin Sawhney, Michael Nyman, Ben Okri, Matthew Herbert and Cirque Du Soleil. His art installations and documentaries identify locations of power and potentials for resistance. Silver’s primary interest is in exploring the construction of physical and psychological barriers, in a time where the world is seemingly ever more connected and unbordered.”
García Bernal is an internationally acclaimed actor (among others, starring in La Mala Educacion, Amores Perros and Y Tu Mama Tambien). He co-produced and acted in The Invisibles, “trying to find new ways of talking about migration. For him, it’s about social justice. Alternative to the political, economic, and electoral discourse on migration, he is trying to give voice to the migrants themselves. They have a lot to say.” (See interview in full at: http://pulitzercenter.org/blog/gael-garcia-bernal-ambulante-mexico-migration-the-invisibles).
Sign up for the UCL Urban Migration Film Festival here