A U.S. Homeland Security official watches a video of Laura, a Mexican woman whose husband died in
2003 along with 18 others in the worst immigrant smuggling case in U.S. history. “How many more deaths does it take for the U.S. government to do something?” she asks.
LETTERS FROM THE OTHER SIDE interweaves video letters carried across the U.S.-Mexico border by the film’s director with the personal stories of women left behind in post-NAFTA Mexico. Director Heather Courtney interacts with her subjects through her unobtrusive camera, providing an intimate look at the lives of the people most affected by today’s failed immigration and trade policies. Her use of video letters provides a way for these women to communicate with both loved ones and strangers on the other side of the border, and illustrates an unjust truth – as an American she can carry these video letters back and forth across a border that these women are not legally allowed to cross. The U.S. House and Senate just passed a bill to build a 700-mile fence along the U.S.-Mexico border, an enforcement-only bill that will only lead to more deaths at the border and do nothing to address the complex issue of immigration.
LETTERS FROM THE OTHER SIDE provides the human context that has been missing in all the political rhetoric. Focusing on a side of the immigration story rarely told by the media or touched upon in our national debate, LETTERS gives voice to those who deserve to be heard, painting a complex portrait of families torn apart by economics, communities dying at the hands of globalization, and governments incapable or unwilling to do anything about it.