Fed up with the mass migration of their community, the small Mexican town of Alberto creates a one-of-a-kind tourist attraction they call La Caminata, a simulated nighttime border crossing, complete with fake border patrol chasing balaclava-clad coyotes. The experience is a cross between adventure tourism and a way for participants, largely middle class Mexican tourists, to experience firsthand the hardships of the border crossing. La Caminata details the story of this unlikely attempt to save a small community, offering a powerful look at the effect of migration in home communities, and opening a view to the immigration debate on the other side.
Want to do as millions of undocumented immigrants have done and illegally cross the U.S.-Mexico border? That will be $18. In the small town of El Alberto, Mexico, tourists can get the 'illegal' experience without being in any real danger, aside from some cuts and bruises. More than 100 residents -- an estimated one-eighth of the town's population -- are employed by the Caminata Nocturna, a simulated experience that allows tourists to act as migrants attempting to cross the border.
Jamie Meltzer’s LA CAMINATA highlights the complexity of immigration in riveting and unexpected ways. Migrants, themselves, are absent from the film in the same way that they are missing from their hometowns. With that absence looming over the film, we are privileged to see and hear how those who are left behind in a tiny town in Mexico make sense of the difficult and frequently deadly journey across the border. While the campesinos actively connect the dots between immigration, community and nation, their wealthier compatriots are content to have those connections revealed to them as spectacle.
-Deborah L. Jaramillo, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Department of Film and Television, Boston University
In its short time frame La Caminata sensitively opens our eyes to an as-yet-unexplored side of Mexican migration to the United States: the people left behind.
-Karen Cirillo, Programmer, True/False Film Festival and Doxita
True/False Film Festival
SILVERDOCS: AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival
Next Wave Festival
Message to Man International Film Festival
Temescal Street Cinema
Rhode Island International Film Festival
Rooftop Films Summer Series
Salem Film Festival