States of Migration Film Series

The Infiltrators

Photos: Provided by the filmmaker

The Infiltrators

Release Date: 2019
Runtime: 95 minutes
Directors: Cristina Ibarra and Alex Rivera
Languages: Spanish and English with English subtitles
Countries: United States, Mexico
Synopsis: The Infiltrators is a docu-thriller that tells the true story of young immigrants who are detained by Border Patrol and thrown into a shadowy for-profit detention center—on purpose. Marco and Viri are members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of radical DREAMers who are on a mission to stop unjust deportations. And the best place to stop deportations, they believe, is in detention. However, when Marco and Viri attempt a daring reverse ‘prison break,’ things don’t go according to plan. By weaving together documentary footage of the real infiltrators with re-enactments of the events inside the detention center, The Infiltrators tells an incredible and thrilling true story in a genre-defying new cinematic language.
Director Bios: Alex Rivera is an award-winning filmmaker whose work explores themes of globalization, migration, and technology. His first feature, a cyberpunk thriller set in Mexico, Sleep Dealer, won multiple awards at Sundance and Berlin. Rivera's second feature, The Infiltrators, won the NEXT: Audience Award and the Innovator Award at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival, was released theatrically in the U.S., and is currently being developed as a scripted series by Blumhouse. Rivera is a 2021 MacArthur Fellow, a Sundance Fellow, and was The Rothschild Lecturer at Harvard University. He studied at Hampshire College and lives in Los Angeles.

Cristina Ibarra is a Sundance award-winning filmmaker with a 20-year practice rooted in her border crossing roots along the Texas-Mexico border. Before The Infiltrators, Ibarra's previous award-winning documentary, Las Marthas, about wealthy South Texas border debutantes who honor George Washington in Laredo, premiered on PBS's Independent Lens in 2014 and is distributed by Women Make Movies. The Last Conquistador, a documentary about the racially conflicted construction of a monument to a conquistador in El Paso, Texas, was broadcast on POV in 2008. Her award-winning directorial debut, Dirty Laundry: A Homemade Telenovela, was broadcast on PBS in 2001. She is the recipient of fellowships from Soros, Rauschenberg, Rockefeller, NYFA, CPB/PBS, NALIP, Firelight, the Sundance Women's Initiative and Creative Capita. Ibarra is a 2021 MacArthur Fellow.

Week Five
December 10-13

The Hemispheric Institute presents the States of Migration Film Series

This series of powerful short and feature films, curated by the Hemispheric Institute, seeks to center stories of migration and expulsion from the Americas. These are tales of harrowing journeys, desperate measures, deep solidarities, and courageous political action. Through these stories, filmmakers reveal not only the degradations perpetrated by nation-states and their border regimes, but also the tenacity of people who imagine life beyond their reality.

About this film series

Free screenings are available each week Friday through Monday, from November 12 – December 13, 2021.

About HemiTV

HemiTV is the Hemispheric Institute’s portal for live streaming and virtual programming, developed for the Zoom era and beyond.