WHERE CAN I SEE THE FILM?
WHAT IS THIS FILM ABOUT?
The Other Side of Immigration is 55-minute documentary based on interviews with over 700 families in the Mexican countryside. The film explores why so many people leave small Mexican towns to work in the United States and what happens to the families and communities they leave behind. By understanding “the other side” of the story, we’ll begin to think about new and more creative ways that the U.S. and Mexican governments can work together to develop new solutions. The film is based on the director’s Ph.D. research, which he conducted in Mexico with funding from the National Science Foundation.
WHO MADE IT?
Roy Germano filmed The Other Side of Immigration while doing research in rural Mexico as a Ph.D. student in the Department of Government at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Germano made the film while conducting a National Science Foundation-funded survey of 768 families in 10 villages and towns in Michoacán, Mexico. He currently teaches in the International Relations Program at New York University. He is the author of Outsourcing Welfare: How the Money Immigrants Send Home Contributes to Stability in Developing Countries (published in 2018 by Oxford University Press). His research has also appeared in numerous scholarly journals and law reviews. His other documentaries include A Mexican Sound and the Vice News series Immigrant America. He's been a contributor to CNN, MSNBC, NPR, Fox News, Telemundo, Univison, WNYC, and others.
WHO FUNDED IT?
The Other Side of Immigration is an independent film in the truest sense. It was made without influence or funding from studios, corporations, interest groups, foundations, or any other institution. 95% of production was funded exclusively by director Roy Germano on a modest budget. Finishing funds were donated toward the end of production by musician Conor Oberst.
IS THIS A FILM FOR LIBERALS OR CONSERVATIVES? DEMOCRATS OR REPUBLICANS?
This is a film for everyone. The goal of this film is to provide a highly-researched, nonpartisan account of the causes and impacts of Mexican immigration from a perspective rarely covered in the mainstream media. In contrast to many films on immigration, The Other Side of Immigration avoids ideological arguments and instead relies on the director’s doctoral research to convey it’s subtle and thought-provoking message. There is no narrator telling you what to believe in The Other Side of Immigration, nor are there “bad guys,” “good guys,” or “victims.”
WHAT LANGUAGE IS IT IN?
Most of the interviews are in Spanish (with English subtitles). A small share of interviews were conducted in English.
CAN I SHOW THE FILM AT MY UNIVERSITY, ORGANIZATION, CONFERENCE, OR EVENT?
YES! The Other Side of Immigration has shown at hundreds of events around the country. The easiest way to obtain rights to screen the film publicly is to purchase Public Performance Rights exclusively on our online store. You can also send an email to email@example.com if you'd like to ask any questions or discuss the specifics of your event.
WHO APPEARS IN THE FILM?
Men and women from little towns in Mexico whom Roy Germano met somewhat randomly while conducting research for his Ph.D. in political science. Germano interviewed many types of people: small farmers, return migrants, small business owners, fathers and mothers, community leaders, and local politicians. Germano wanted to keep the focus on the everyday people who live and struggle with this phenomenon--the real immigration experts.
WHAT TOPICS ARE COVERED IN THE FILM?
The film is divided into 6 sections that aim to provide viewers a wide-ranging perspective on the causes and effects of immigration in Mexico. The first section examines social pressures in rural Mexico that perpetuate migration to the US. The second section examines economic pressures and the role that the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has played in stimulating migration to the US. The third section explores relationships between migration and Mexican politics. The fourth section discusses the impact of the billions of dollars Mexican immigrants send home to the families every year. The fifth section looks at the hardships families endure when their loved ones leave to work in the US. The final section presents interviewees’ ideas about new ways that the Mexican and US governments could cooperate to more successfully manage immigration issues. The Other Side of Immigration is therefore just as much a film about social norms, global markets, agricultural policy, well-intentioned political goals, corruption, brotherhood, children, families, income multipliers, difficult tradeoffs, and outside-the-box thinking as it is a film about immigration.
WOULD THIS FILM BE GOOD TO SHOW IN CLASS?
Yes. The director holds a Ph.D. in political science and made this film while conducting his field research. This film is a great teaching tool for courses in all kinds of fields: Education (particularly bilingual education), Social Work, Law, Sociology, Political Science, Latin American Studies, Mexican/Mexican-American Studies, American Studies, Anthropology, Business, Economics, Psychology, Spanish Language and Literature, International Affairs, Public Policy, Medicine/Public Health, and more.