“How do you make the invisible, visible? You take it away.”
One morning California wakes up to find that one third of its population has disappeared. As the day goes by we discover that the characteristic that links the 14 million disappeared is their Hispanic background. This is the premise of the film A Day Without A Mexican that was released in 2004.
As filmmakers we felt, beginning in 1994 with California’s Prop 187, that the half-truths constantly repeated in immigration discussions needed to be clarified. Using our artistic voice we intended to give form to a strong sentiment of discomfort we perceived in the Latino immigrant community but which up to now had had no clear shape, no loud voice. We believe that immigration reform is the civil rights struggle of our time. It is a struggle that affects all of us with its impact on the economic, social and cultural fabric of our society.
In the spring of 2006, reality has imitated art. Immigration issues have exploded onto the national stage and currently there is a call for a National Boycott on May 1st -- No work, no school, no buying, no selling -- in support of immigration reform in the United States.
All artists dream of changing the world. Our goal is to create work that is relevant to our times. If our work has encouraged social change, that is the ultimate satisfaction. In making this film, our objective was to open the dialogue on the issue of immigration by including factual information and alternative views that would change the terms of the discussion. This in the hope of having the Latino community take its rightful place as an important contributor and player in the history and future of the United States. The film was meant as a fable, a warning to be heeded.
Today, the fable has come to life. As we see reality and our imagination become one, we want to encourage people to participate in the struggle as they are able. We will be documenting the process and the outcome in hopes of furthering the discussion of the contribution made to our society and economy by not just the Latino immigrants but all immigrants. That these contributions increase productivity and raise the standard of living for all of us.
Sergio Arau & Yareli Arizmendi
Eye On The Ball Films (firstname.lastname@example.org)