Film Detained in the Desert Tackles Racism Against Latinos

Pelicula, Detenido en el Desierto, habla sobre el racismo contra los Latinos en los Estados Unidos

By LatinoLA Contributor
Published on LatinoLA: May 29, 2012

Film Detained in the Desert Tackles Racism Against Latinos

A new film by the writer of "Real Women Have Curves", Josefina Lopez, tackles the difficult issues of racism against Latinos in the US and the sigma that undocumented immigrants experience.

The film, "Detained in the Desert", is based on the play of the same name written by Lopez. The play is Lopez's response to the anti-immigrant atmosphere in Arizona and the rise in violence against Latinos fueled by extremist media. It is now becoming a low-budget independent film produced by Real Women Have Curves Studio and fiscally sponsored by Josefina Lopez's non-profit organization, CASA 0101.

The project is a human rights film and fundraiser for Border Angels, founded by Enrique Morones in 1986. Border Angels is a non-profit organization that works to stop the unnecessary deaths of individuals in the desert by delivering water in key points where migrants cross the desert.

This film is a stand against hate and hate crimes in the US against immigrants and their families. Two people on opposite sides of the immigration debate find each other lost in the desert and discover their humanity and the true plight of migrants crossing the Arizona desert.

The film needs the support of the Latino community. The production is currently fundraising for post-production funds. If you would like to help, visit http://www.indiegogo.com/DetainedintheDesert .


Detained in the Desert parallels two completely different people: Sandi, a second-generation dark skinned Latina, and Lou Becker, an inflammatory talk show radio host, whose lives converge in the Sonoran desert in Arizona. An Arizona cop racially profiles Sandi, who refuses to show her identification in protest. Her act of rebellion sets her on an unexpected course toward immigrant detention.

Conversely, three siblings who have just suffered the loss of their brother due to a hate crime influenced by Lou's racist talk show, kidnap him in hopes of seeking justice. While Sandi is being transferred to another immigrant detention center, her I.C.E. bus crashes in the desert. She escapes only to end up stranded in the desert. Lou is freed by one of his supposedly remorseful kidnappers. Consequently, Sandi and Lou meet in the desert and help each other survive.

Both Sandi and Lou come to understand the severity of the plight of the immigrants through a gruesome discovery.

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