Award-Winning Documentary ‘Who Is Dayani Cristal?’ to Air This Weekend on Univision and Fusion

EDITOR’S NOTE: We received the following post from the film’s production team and have permission to reprint it.

The Sundance award-winning documentary film, ”Who is Dayani Cristal?” is being broadcast nationwide on Univision this Saturday, September 6, and on Fusion, September 7 and 8. To support advocates’ work in migrants’ rights and immigration policy, which this film explores, the production team developed a number of social impact tools.

Cristal

“Who is Dayani Cristal?” is an intimate examination of the journey of one migrant who perished in the Arizona desert, far from his native Honduras, with no real identification but a name tattooed over his heart. The documentary was produced by and features Gael García Bernal. The film weaves together real-life attempts to identify the migrant’s body with Bernal’s retracing of the journey he would have most likely taken through the “corridor de la muerte” to reach the U.S. with hopes of improving the lives of his family.

Employing a series of digital tools with interactive features, “Who Is Dayani Cristal?” encourages audiences to delve deeper into and take action on the issues that drive migrants to brave perilous conditions in order to reach the U.S.

Below are several resources for viewers and facilitators to use in classroom syllabi, community screenings or small group discussions:

EBOOK

Explore the complex issues surrounding migration in greater detail with the Who is Dayani Cristal interactive ebook (via iTunes or PDF). This interactive book extends the story to the stories of many, and to analysis of the systemic issues that impact their journeys, providing readers with a deeper investigation into policy frameworks that affect the lives of migrants and border communities such as those found in “Who Is Dayani Cristal?”

ACTION TOOLKIT

Each of the toolkit’s modules stands on its own and can be used when implementing a specific type of event for various audiences. See PDF document under Screenings on website.

  • Plan a theatrical or community screening
  • Bring the film to your local theater by planning a “theatrical-on-demand” Gathr® screening
  • Facilitate a discussion or post-screening Q+A with: general audiences, faith-based audiences, academic audiences, advocacy groups. Mobilize your audiences to take action.

LEARN

The “Who is Dayani Cristal?” website also includes sections on

The Right Not to Migrate

Most migrants from Central America leave their homes because they simply have no other choice. There is little opportunity in their home countries for income or economic security, limited access to basic services or education, little hope of advancement – and as Dr. Bruce Anderson says, “we are dangling the carrot” of jobs in the U.S. A cross-border, cross-sector effort to work towards economic sustainability and access to services and education is essential to providing the viable choices to would-be migrants to stay home if they so choose.

Resources:

  • Video shorts for discussion (i.e. “DVD extras or outtakes from the film, each under three minutes)
  • Links to further article, information and reports
  • Photos from the project
  • Essay: Why do people leave their homes and travel north to the US-Mexico border? by Marion Bronfman, Ford Foundation

A Humane Border

The U.S.-Mexico border has become one of the most dangerous places on earth for people traveling on foot. At this point, it is at its most militarized in U.S. history. The need for a secure border has become a condition of comprehensive immigration policy. The need for the U.S. to adhere to a border policy that doesn’t result in avoidable human deaths is dire.

Resources:

  • Video shorts for discussion (i.e. “DVD extras or outtakes from the film, each under three minutes)
  • Photos from the project
  • Links to further article, information and reports
  • Essay: A Humane Border by Dan Martinez, George Washington University

Repatriating the Dead

Migrants crossing over the U.S.-Mexico border by foot often carry no identification or carry false papers to avoid endangering themselves or their families. If a migrant dies and is found on the US side of the border, it becomes the responsibility of border counties to investigate identity.

Resources:

  • Video shorts for discussion (i.e. “DVD extras or outtakes from the film, each under three minutes)
  • Photos from the project
  • Links to further article, information and reports
  • Essay: Naming the Dead by Robin Reineke, the Colibri Center for Human Rights

Detention and Deportation

Under current U.S. policy, the number of immigrant detentions and deportations has skyrocketed. Migrants who are apprehended are detained without representation or contact with their families, sometimes for weeks and months.

Resources:

  • Video shorts for discussion (i.e. “DVD extras or outtakes from the film, each under three minutes)
  • Photos from the project
  • Links to further article, information and reports
  • Essay: 2:00 A.M. in Matamoros: Dangerous Deportations along the US-Mexico Border by Maureen Meyer, WOLA

Labor Demand

“They steal our jobs.” The story about migrants and immigrants we often tell ourselves is that immigration leads to job loss for Americans. But political and economic experts, regardless of ideological leanings, have acknowledged this is simply a myth.

Resources:

  • Video shorts for discussion (i.e. “DVD extras or outtakes from the film, each under three minutes)
  • Photos from the project
  • Links to further article, information and reports
  • Essay: Coming to America: Land of Opportunity and Obstacles by the National Council of La Raza

Safety Through Mexico

The journey from Central America through Mexico to the U.S. border is the most dangerous foot journey in the world. Migrants can fall prey to illness, dehydration, exposure, injury, accident, coyotes, drug cartels, smugglers, traffickers, and violence.

Resources:

  • Video shorts for discussion (i.e. “DVD extras or outtakes from the film, each under three minutes)
  • Photos from the project
  • Links to further article, information and reports
  • Essay: Safety through Mexico by Padre Alejandro Solalinde, Ixtepec Shelter

BORDER STORIES

Dayani Cristal’s story is not the only one. Share your own stories, thoughts and prayers. We’ll attach them to the US–Mexico border wall.

TAKE ACTION

This page will allow you to file a missing person report with the Colibrí Center for Human Rights. All information collected in this form is confidential and all precaution will be taken to maintain your privacy. Colibrí will not release names, phone numbers, or identifiable information to outside agencies without your permission. The Colibrí Center for Human Rights is not a law enforcement entity. We collect information only to assist families searching for a missing loved one.

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