Who is Dayani Cristal? New Documentary Focuses On a Migrant’s Tragic Death in the Desert — State Action Alert | LIRS
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Who is Dayani Cristal? New Documentary Focuses On a Migrant’s Tragic Death in the Desert — State Action Alert

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button_icon_state_alertWho is Dayani Cristal? goes directly to the heart of the human costs of our militarized border and broken immigration enforcement system. 

A searing and powerful documentary by Marc Silver, the film has been described as “the forensic procedural, the road movie, and the man-who-wasn’t-there mystery.” It focuses on the identification and repatriation process of the body of a Central American migrant found in the Arizona desert. As the filmmaker follows the medical examiner’s efforts to identify the body and the Missing Migrant Project‘s quest to return it to the family, viewers are exposed to the dangerous and often deadly routes that thousands are forced to take through the desert each year to enter the United States.

Gael Garcia Bernal, the Mexican actor and activist who also produced the film, retraces the migrant’s journey from Central America and meets others along the way who risk their lives to seek opportunity. He travels on top of trains, on buses, and on foot, and visits a shelter for migrants, hearing about the experiences of many along the way. By combining this one man’s story with a look at the larger trend of deaths along the border, the film documents the human toll of our immigration enforcement policies.

This powerful film can help educate your community about the urgent need for immigration reform and changes to our enforcement policies. It is being released this month for a limited run in select theatres in New York, Arizona, Louisiana, and Florida. If you’re interested in bringing Who is Dayani Cristal? to your community, here are a few options:

  • If you don’t plan to charge admission, you can purchase a low-cost community screening license for events in congregations and other community spaces if your audience will be fewer than 50 people. More information is available here. Contact Jeff Tamblyn at Kino Lorber: jtamblyn@kinolorber.com
  • If you want to bring the film to your local theatre, you’ll be able to reserve a night in your local theatre for free after May 1 using the Gathr platform. Gathr is an on-demand theatrical service that allows you to reserve tickets in advance. If you get enough reservations, they’ll bring the film to you.

A community film screening followed by a facilitated discussion or panel of speakers is often a great starting point for educating your church, school, or seminary to take action on immigration reform. The personal story of one man’s journey across the border allows viewers to better understand the push factors that lead migrants to enter the country without documentation and the anguish that many face throughout the dangerous journey.

Please contact Folabi Olagbaju, LIRS National Grassroots Director, at folagbaju@lirs.org or 202-626-7931 if you would like further information about this documentary, support for screening it for your community, or other resources for promoting humane and compassionate immigration reform.

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