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robertogreco : louishock   1

From Mexican to American: Louis Hock's Decades of Documenting Immigrant Life | San Diego | Artbound | KCET
"Thirty years ago, in the apartment complex of Los Analos, located a block from the beach in the Northern county of San Diego, children could be heard screaming and playing the Migra game. The game, a sort of Cowboys & Indians meets Cops & Robbers border hybrid, consisted of two roles: la migra or Border Patrol agent, and the undocumented Mexican immigrant. And often, it became a reenactment of events the children witnessed at Los Analos: friends, family and neighbors being arrested by INS (Immigration and Naturalization Services) for being undocumented.

The migra game was one of the many things artist and filmmaker Louis Hock witnessed and documented in his four-part film project "The Mexican Tapes: A Chronicle of Life Outside the Law." Hock, a native of the border Southwest, moved to Los Analos in 1978. Wanting to experiment with videotape production and in the process document the experiences of his neighbors -- undocumented Mexican working class immigrant families, whose voice was absent or grossly misrepresented in the political discourse on the border and immigration at the time -- Hock began filming the day-today lives of four families: Cande and Pancha and their daughter Maria Luisa, Cachuchas and Marisela and their daughter Veronica, Ramon and Rufina and their daughters Lupe, Rocio and Sonia, and Ruben and Maria and their son Carlos. The result was an amazing personal record of the history, labor, and aspirations of immigrants in the United States.

Serendipitously, the year the documentary was completed, the 1986 Immigration Reform and Control Act granted undocumented immigrants like Hock's neighbors and their children amnesty, which practically guaranteed, as Hock describes that this next generation would not be playing the migra game for real.

But what had this transformation, from undocumented immigrant living outside the law, to lawful resident or citizen, represented for these families?

This is a question Hock takes up in "The American Tapes: A Tale of Immigrations," the sequel to the "Mexican Tapes," that documents the current lives of the four families from Los Analos. Hock explains that this new film is not simply a "What had they done since the last time I saw them", an update 30 years after their first interviews. Rather Hock "tried to make each of the people and their families tell a story", a story that allows you as the viewer understand who they are, where they are, and how they they got there."
art  film  sandiego  losanalos  louishock  migration  immigration  2013  1978  1986  migra  borderpatrol  borders  border  us  mexico 
may 2013 by robertogreco

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