In this day and age, political discussions are plentiful. Sometimes, the every day is so inundated it’s difficult to remember that there are people at the heart of these issues. “Politics” don’t happen in a vacuum. When it comes to making the case for immigration reform, the connection to the bodies and souls behind the issue is key. The Infiltrators tells the true story of undocumented immigrant teenagers who permit themselves to be caught and detained in 2012 at Broward Transitional Center in South Florida.
It’s a risky move intended to highlight the action of Border Patrol, ICE and the increasingly concerning situation inside for-profit detention centers in the United States.
The Infiltrators is more than just a look behind the veil of modern immigration policy in action. It’s a docu-drama that frames its story with a thrilling edge and ragged honesty that’s more than a simple recounting.
Writers Alex Rivera and Cristina Ibarra mix interviews, real-time footage, and intrepid reenactments to bring the often harrowing experience of being undocumented in American into stark focus. US citizens tend to brush off stories about the detention of immigrants as necessary and just. So long as the image of detention is presented as humane most don’t give it a second thought. But as the audience watches these naive young adults allow themselves to be essentially sent to prison, and their plans swiftly go awry, it’s difficult not to be invested in their fate. Looking away from what’s happening behind the detention gates impossible.
This blend of real life and dramatization gracefully walks the line between entertaining story and sobering truth. You meet the real people behind these characters and the true stories behind the gripping re-enactments. The more you learn about the system and the suffering it permits in the name of policy the greater the appreciation for the courage it took in order to make it through for these young people.
The Infiltrators makes a strong case for why the current immigration system, particularly the detention protocols, needs a serious overhaul. It also highlights how permitting profit to play any part in the prison-industrial-complex is something this country needs to examine on the whole. It’s time to really examine what freedom means and the price this country puts on obtaining it.
The Infiltrators hits Virtual Cinema on May 1 and will be available for cable on-demand/streaming Tuesday, June, 2.