Which Way Home Explores the Lives of Migrant Kids (DVD, January 25, 2011)
Opening with a scene of a body being retrieved from a river, Which Way Home is a poignant look at the lives of children who try to escape Mexico and enter the United States. The audience then sees a thirteen-year-old boy who was found in the river being interviewed by police. When the young man says he arrived on a train, he is being literal. Thousands of people get on top of freight train cars, lying down to avoid tree branches, tunnels, and other hazards, and travel to Piedras Negras in an attempt to enter the U.S. 5% of them are unaccompanied children.
Cameras follow two Honduran boys who left their homes with nothing as they travel by train, and beg for food from diners at an outdoor café. They also visit children at the Tapachula Detention Center where children picked up by Mexican Immigration are taken. There a ten-year-old boy cries as he is interviewed by an Immigration worker. Along the journey are makeshift shelters offering a place to rest, food, and essential advice.
Every year, 100,000 children are apprehended by the Border Patrol as they attempt toenter the United States. An officer speaks of dead children found in the desert, and those who are sexually abused and abandoned, found wandering along the sides of roads.
Many of the children left their homes to find a better life in the United States and send money back to help their families. Others want to reunite with family members who have already made it to the U.S. Grieving parents await the return of children who were found dead of exposure and are identifiable only through DNA. Many of the Central Americans who make it to Mexico are deported to their home countries; others get as far as the United States only to await deportation. Along the way they may be beaten, robbed, raped, abandoned and left to die, or killed in train accidents.
Which Way Home is not a polemic on immigration. It does not examine illegal or undocumented entry into the United States. Instead, it is a deeply affective story about children—their lives, their hopes, their dreams—told by the children themselves, some as young as nine years old. Released through Docuramafilms, it will be available January 25 on DVD, VOD, and digital.