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Dustwun

Genevieve Anderson
United States, 2020, 90 min.

In English & Spanish with English subtitles.

Shot over 10 days on an active crossing site 30 miles north of the Mexican border, Dustwun is the story of an unusual friendship between an undocumented migrant lost from her group traveling toward the US and a troubled American veteran building his own "wall" out of trash in the desert. Circumventing the contentious politics of immigration and the wall, Dustwun unfolds as a fable, focusing on the human element at the core of it all.

Director's Statement

Dustwun came out of my experience living in Southern Arizona near the US/Mexico border for the past four years. My research for the film involved going on rescue missions with the Samaritans (a group that gives aid to crossing migrants), interviewing Afghanistan and Central America war veterans, extensive interviews with my step-brother, a Border Patrol agent, and extensive reading on issues surrounding immigration. We built our set on an active crossing site in Green Valley, Arizona, and used many real artifacts abandoned by migrants. We shot during monsoon season and dealt with lightning strikes, flash floods, rattlesnakes and a host of other challenges.

Although nowhere near what migrants experience when crossing, I felt the reality of the environment would imprint on the story, underscoring the greater force that binds us all. Dustwun is about people connecting beyond the imaginary borders of language, walls, and laws. We are at a crossroads where understanding our interconnectedness is vital to our survival as a species. I made this film as a fable to bypass politics and expand the conversation on what matters most: compassion.

Category: Drama, Arizona Film, Feature.
Themes: Border, Human Spirit, Immigration.

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