A New View Film Series: Inocente

On November 17th as part of the New View Film Series, the Academy Award winning documentary Inocente was screened in Robertson Hall at Butler University. Inocente is notable for being partially funded through the crowdfunding site Kickstarter and holds the distinction for being the first crowdfunded film to win an Oscar, which it did in 2013.

Inocente2Inocente is a film about a teenage girl by the same name, who is an undocumented immigrant living in California who has an unstable home life because of her status as an undocumented immigrant. As the documentary reveals Inocente lives with her mother and siblings in a small one room apartment, where the threat of eviction is always looming over them. Her family was once homeless and throughout the film Inocente relays her fears that they will be homeless again.

As the documentary reveals, Inocente and her family became homeless after her father was deported. The reason for her father’s deportation gives a further glimpse into the unstable life Inocente has lived. One night, Inocente’s father beat her badly because  she had ignored his instructions to tell his mother to make dinner. When her mother tried to stop him from harming Inocente, he turned his attentions on her. In response Inocente’s mother called the police, which resulted in her father being arrested and deported. After this incident the family was  unable to pay rent and became homeless. In order to survive, they stayed with friends, in shelters and even slept on the street.    

Despite the challenges she faces on a daily basis, Inocente has dreams of becoming an artist. Inocente3During the course of the film we see her pursue her passion for painting. We also see her accomplish her goals and mature as a young woman through a non-profit called A.R.T.S. This organization also helps her organize her first art show.
Inocente is a story of hope and uncertainty that is told through the eyes of a young girl, who has overcome many obstacles that are familiar to the experience of undocumented families in the U. S. The audience was clearly touched by the film and the discussion that followed the screening covered a range of topics including the immigrant experience in the U. S., family dynamics, public policy and ethics pertaining to documentary filmmaking.   

By: Autumn Tyler

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