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Immigration Films: Crossing Borders and Boundaries

Immigration Films: Crossing Borders and Boundaries

Immigration Films Thesis CoverFrom the beginning of my graduate studies, I knew I wanted to write my thesis on the way immigration is depicted in film. Growing up on the border of the United States and Mexico, in San Diego, immigration stories have always been a fundamental part of my existence and world views. Through numerous classes in American Studies, Performance Studies and Film Studies, I narrowed my focus to the coyote in film.

American immigration films have predominantly focused on the stories of law enforcement officials and undocumented immigrants. By shifting the focus to the coyote, a person who smuggles undocumented immigrants from Mexico into the United States, these same films can be viewed through a new perspective.

 

 

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SJSU Theatre Project

SJSU Theatre Project

Everyone Gets An American FlagIn December of 2010 I worked as production manager on the SJSU theatre project Everyone Gets An American Flag. The purpose of the project was to interview students and staff who are immigrants to America and turn their interviews into a play. Since this project was a workshop, the roles of dramaturg, director and production manager became mostly interchangeable in order to get everything done on time.

Each student in TA 117 was assigned an interview subject. We each had three sessions with the interviewee to ask them a standard set of questions and then to go off on any interesting tangents the questions brought up. After all the interviews were compiled, I worked with my fellow graduate students, Brittany Chavez and Kimberly Peterson, to read all the transcripts looking for the most compelling content. We tried to find parallels within all the stories and figure out which dialogue helped transition the piece thematically.

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