Last Friday night about 250 people gathered for a special preview of a film by New York filmmaker Luis Argueta. The film has gained national attention, sparked interest from local media like the Des Moines Register and hits extremely close to home … the film was a documentary about Postville Iowa, where one of the largest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) raids in the history of the United States took place in 2008.
The documentary, "abUSed: The Postville Raid," was incredibly educational and not only put names and faces to the thousands of people affected by the raid (which was not only the detained workers, but also their husbands, wives, children, friends, school teachers, town restaurant owners, school principals, day care centers…), but also walked the viewer through a much broader picture of the issue.
The film takes a look at the legal proceedings that followed the raid, the history of the meat packing industry and how it came to settle in small town America and the circumstances surrounding the decisions immigrants make when deciding to come to the US.
All this is intertwined with personal stories that reinforce again and again the need for comprehensive immigration reform:
- the little boy who no longer sees his mother because she was deported
- men who worked hours upon hours without getting paid for time worked
- mothers who wear ankle devices 24/7 with travel limited to boundaries that prohibit work and medical appointments
- underage workers being subjected to long hours in poor working conditions with dangerous equipment
So, where can you see this film? A massive outreach campaign is being launched to get the documentary out to as many people as possible and includes education modules for high schools and colleges, the film in multiple languages, submissions to film festivals and special screenings. Potential television screenings are planned for mid-2011 and a DVD release will soon follow. Get updates and more information via Facebook: aBUsed the Postville Raid.