A Bridge Apart
This documentary takes a look at the difficult journey that immigrants from Central America and Mexico embark on to enter the United States. They leave their countries of origin and their loved ones behind in search of improved economic conditions and a better life.
A well-known train leaves from Arriaga, Mexico on its way to the American Dream. However that’s not where the journey begins for many. Men and women of all ages make their way from Nicaragua, Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala to take this train. The passengers don’t call it a train, though; instead they know it as ‘La bestia’— the beast, because it has claimed the lives of many hundreds on their way into the States. If you decide to take this trip, you have to be willing to lose your life or risk losing a limb and it doesn’t matter if you’re a woman or a child.
Because migrants from Central America aren’t able to enter Mexico legally, their ability to cross the border is determined by the size of the bribe they can offer the many corrupt officials they meet along the way. There’s talk about needing close to a thousand dollars to be able to pay all the bogus fees that are forced on them. The rights of these migrants are violated but they decide not to file reports for fear of being detained and deported. Migrants travel several miles on foot through the jungle just to avoid getting trapped at the border.
Many women travel alone, some with small children. Sadly, most of these women are raped or kidnapped. The Mexican authorities have no idea how to protect these women, so they don’t even try.
Once on the train, the immigrants cannot risk falling asleep. There are many criminals in the crowd who are just waiting for any opportunity to rob or kill them. Many are thrown off the train and many jump off voluntarily to save their own lives.
These immigrants don’t want to leave their families behind, but they have no idea what else to do to provide for their loved ones.
However, if governments applied simple economic development programs in small towns and villages, a desperate living situation could be transformed into one that’s sustainable. This would provide them with options so they don’t have to leave their families in search for a better life.
Experience evocative photography, honest interviews, and intense narration by actor Edward James Olmos, as you witness to the traumatic journey into the Land of Opportunity. Watch this film now.