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Hispanic History & Heritage Month Streaming and DVD Resources

IUB Streaming Titles

The following resources require IUB CAS Authentication.

As Venezuela's Economy Plummets, Mass Exodus Ensues (10 min., 2017) Despite having the largest oil reserves in the world, Venezuela’s economy is in a freefall, necessities have become scarce and tens of thousands of residents are fleeing across the border to Colombia. With support from the Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting, special correspondent Nadja Drost and videographer Bruno Federico report on the exodus. 

Borderlands : life on the line (48min., 2017) Borderlands: Life on the Line spends the first months of the Trump presidency uniquely embedded in the Department of Homeland Security Border Force on the US border with Mexico as the president attempts to build his controversial wall. From local people and humanitarian groups to the vigilantes who spend their days hunting illegal immigrants, this visceral documentary shows all sides of the story. This is an honest and balanced look at America through one of the current US president's most controversial campaign pledges. 

Life on the Line  (32min., 2008)  Every year thousands of migrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala leave their families and homes in Central America in their attempt to make a life for themselves in "El Norte" (the U.S.). Staking everything they own on a one-way trip to the promised land, they encounter police abuse, robbery, extortion, rape and even murder at the hands of Mexicans. Ironically, Mexicans face similar hardships when they try to enter the U.S. illegally. This powerful documentary tells the stories of the desperate Central American men, women and children who put their lives on the line for a dream they can never be sure to reach. 

Mi Puerto Rico (88min., 2005) This wide-ranging and much-honored documentary explores Puerto Rico's rich cultural traditions and untold history, revealing the remarkable stories of its revolutionaries and abolitionists, poets and patriots -- all of whose struggles for national identity unfold within the complex web of relations between Puerto Rico and the United States.The film moves fluidly between Puerto Rico itself and New York's South Bronx barrio. 

The Minutemen: Vigilantes at the Border (83min., 2011) Aggravated by the influx of undocumented immigrants and fed up with the lack of government involvement, the Minutemen positioned themselves along the U.S. / Mexico border. Armed, energetic, and bound by common ideals, they are a diverse, often fragmented group of disillusioned freedom fighters, existing in what many believe to be the realm of vigilantism. This cinema vérité documentary follows nine of these eccentric, self-appointed watchdogs as they fight to regain their sovereignty in an isolated and dangerous landscape. 

Natives: Immigrant Bashing on the Border  (25min., 93min)   Starkly shot in black and white, this multi-festival film captures the unabashed xenophobia of a number of Americans living in California along the U.S.-Mexican border. They are reacting to the influx of undocumented aliens, who they believe are draining community resources and committing crimes. Nativist organizations have been formed such as "Light Up The Border" which masses cars along the border with head-lights blazing at possible intruders.The film critiques the nativist position by contrasting the professed love of country with racist and anti-democratic attitudes.

Targeting El Paso (54 min., 2020) FRONTLINE examines how El Paso became Trump's immigration testing ground, and then the target of a white supremacist. Through interviews with border patrol agents, militias, local advocates, and migrants, this is the inside story from the epicenter of the border crisis.

TEDTalks, David J. Bier—How Guest Worker Visas Could Transform the US Immigration System (11 min., 2020) The United States can create a more humane immigration system; in fact, it's been done before, says policy analyst David J. Bier. Pointing to the historical success of the US guest worker program, which allows foreign workers to legally enter and work in the country, Bier shows why expanding the program to Central Americans could alleviate the border crisis and provide new opportunities for immigrants.

TEDTalks, Melanie Nezer—The Fundamental Right to Seek Asylum (11 min., 2019) Refugee and immigrants rights attorney Melanie Nezer shares an urgently needed historical perspective on the crisis at the southern US border, showing how citizens can hold their governments accountable for protecting the vulnerable. "A country shows strength through compassion and pragmatism, not through force and through fear, " she says.

Walking the Line (58 min., 2006) Walking the Line offers a harrowing view of the chaos, absurdity and senseless deaths of Mexican illegals along the U.S. - Mexico border because some American citizens are taking the law into their own hands. Southern Arizona, a region celebrated for its history of lawlessness, has become the most highly trafficked area for immigrants in the world -- and one of the most dangerous. A shift in the border policy forces migrants to cross the unforgiving desert where thousands die. Those who make it across face volatile, often armed, civilian militias. Standing in opposition to the vigilantes are humanitarians, organized to prevent migrant deaths. 

IUB DVD/Video Films

During Covid, only IU faculty, staff and students can borrow materials from Media Services with a valid IU crimson card.  Social distancing and face masks are required. Be sure to check with Media Services for hours. VHS titles are housed off-site at ALF, and can be requested via IUCAT. Suggested keywords in IUCAT:  Immigration and, Border*, Latin America and*, Mexican American* and, Hispanic and*. Limit to film & video, dvd/videodisc, Bloomington campus.

Coyote (81 min., 2008) For guidance northward, illegal immigrants from Latin America frequently enlist mercenary escorts known as 'coyotes.' This program examines one such charming and unseemly figure and the three Guatemalans who have placed their trust in him. Viewers follow the nervous foursome through checkpoints and river crossings as they employ unreliable forged documents and take on false identities-- while facing physical danger and the constant threat of deportation. Ultimately, the film echoes the heady and traumatic experiences known to millions of undocumented immigrants-- especially since only one of the protagonists gains any tangible success from the journey.

Crossing Arizona (75 min., 2006) Examines the border crisis as seen through the eyes of Arizona ranchers, border patrol agents, politicians, farmers, humanitarians, and Mexican migrants.

El Inmigrante (90 min., 2005) A documentary film which examines the Mexican and American border crisis through the story of Eusebio de Haro. He was a young Mexican migrant who was shot and killed in Kinney County, Texas on May 13, 2000 during one of his journeys north.

Harvest of Empire (93 min., 2012) Takes an unflinching look at the role that U.S. military actions and corporate interests played in triggering unprecedented waves of migration from Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America.

Paraiso Travel (110 min., 2008) Marlon Cruz, a young Colombian man who, motivated by his beautiful girlfriend Reina, leaves his life in Colombia to illegally cross the border and find fortune in New York. Marlon's journey, which takes him through seedy strip clubs, dance halls, homeless hostels, and the streets of Jackson Heights, ultimately takes him to a place he could have never predicted.

Sin Nombre (96 min., 2009) Seeking the promise of America, a beautiful young woman, Sayra, joins her father on an odyssey to cross the gauntlet of the Latin American countryside. Along the way, she crosses paths with a teenaged Mexican gang member, El Casper, who is maneuvering to outrun his violent past. Together they have to rely on faith, trust and street smarts if they are to survive their increasingly perilous journey towards the hope of new lives.

The Whole Enchilada (27 min., 2010) The U.S. has undergone arguably the most dramatic demographic and cultural shifts in its history and Latinos are expected to emerge as a potential American majority by 2050. The whole enchilada details how this growth has resulted in acute growing pains ... The film also shows the increasing Latino vibrancy and optimism especially in Los Angeles where there is a new sense of empowerment.

Which Way Home (83 min., 2009) Which Way Home show the personal side of immigration through the eyes of children who face harrowing dangers with enormous courage and resourcefulness as they endeavor to make it to the U.S. The film follows several unaccompanied child migrants as they journey through Mexico en route to the U.S. on a freight train they call "The Beast.”

Internet Resources

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