November 30, 2017

El Mar La Mar

NYU Washington, DC with the American Anthropological Association (AAA), the Smithsonian Institution, and the Library of Congress presented World on the Move: 100,000 Years of Human Migration, an initiative of the AAA designed to change the public conversation about migration, immigration, and displacement.

The program included a roundtable discussion with anthropologists and curators from the Smithsonian Institution, Library of Congress, and Towson University. The feature presentation included a screening of the documentary El mar la mar, a film on undocumented immigration to the United States. A reception followed.

This event open to the public was held in conjunction with the 116th Annual Meeting of the American Anthropological Association held in Washington DC, November 29 – December 3.


Joshua Bonnetta, JP Sniadecki

Joshua Bonnetta, JP Sniadecki

Joshua Bonnetta, JP Sniadecki

Joshua Bonnetta, JP Sniadecki


El mar la mar 

An almost hopeless trail leads from Mexico to the US through the Sonora desert, the hottest place in North America. The harsh sunlight, savage beauty, deadly wildlife, and human remains of travelers who didn’t make it, create an emotional/spiritual/mythical path, haunted by ghosts and legends, terror and confusion. The immigrants are nowhere to be seen, but their stories are powerfully echoed by the few who live on the desert’s edge, and even more so—by reading the signs. Outstanding 16mm camerawork, bold editing, and surprising sound, place the viewers right there, in the desert, forced to feel the heat and despair on their skin while also succumbing to the dreamlike inspiration of the place.

94 min., USA, 2017