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Five Years North

Chris Temple
Zach Ingrasci
United States, 2020, 88 min.

In English & Spanish with English subtitles.

15-year-old Luis Lopez arrives alone in New York City after a dangerous journey north. He is spellbound by the bright lights of Times Square and the promise of a better life. Over the next few years, reality sets in as he desperately tries to learn English, navigate high school, work temporary jobs, and manage expectations from his parents back home. Working nearby is Judy, a veteran Cuban-American ICE agent and native New Yorker. Although her Cuban parents voice their disapproval of ICE, she feels grateful to have a stable job with benefits. Under mounting pressure from the administration, and growing frustration with the shifting focus away from criminals, Judy decides to follow her own rule book. Five Years North's unparalleled access and observational approach makes for a gripping story and valuable entry point to understanding America’s broken immigration system.

Director's Statement

We began to make a documentary about his new life, but quickly realized we’d have to reckon with a powerful force: ICE. It took over a year to get filming approval from the agency, but we eventually did. That’s when we met Judy, the supervisor responsible for Luis’ neighborhood. The rare access to these two main characters opened the door for a unique perspective on a topic as big as immigration.

Category: Feature Doc.
Themes: Immigration, Family, Human Rights.

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