THROUGH THE WALL / by Tim Jieh

Immigration reform is a national issue (actually a global issue now) that hits close to home for me. My dear friend Tam Tran used to say, "I am a citizen of the World" meaning that she was a human being, not bound by artificial borders drawn on maps or defined by the labels given by politicians. She was on the forefront of the student activist movement that spearheaded the organizing efforts across the country. Her Congressional testimony (and ICE's retaliation) eventually sparked the legislative efforts in DC for what we called the DREAM ACT. Now that she's no longer physically here with us, she lives on in spirit having inspired a whole generation of "DREAMERS" who fearlessly demand changes in the way the US government treats its hardworking immigrant families.

I'm not a community organizer, nor do I consider myself a writer, so articulating the complex subject is not without challenges for me. Documenting the struggle on film is also no easy feat, as filmmakers all know, documentary is the most difficult genre to execute. And yet, it may be arguably the most rewarding. So when director Tim Nackashi told me about his short film project "Through The Wall" and that he needed help cutting it, I was quick to sign up. Besides for having the same name as me, I followed Tim's work because of the awesomely visual music videos he'd been making for Neon Indian, OK GO, and Death Cab For Cutie (one of Tam's favorites). I think Tim did an amazing job capturing the humanity of a dehumanizing border policy that's been used as a political football for far too long. So thank you Tim for this resonating piece of content! Thanks for skipping festivals and putting this out there on social media. Please watch the short film and share it with friends. Also, here's a link to more info about TAM TRAN and the book series UNDERGROUND UNDERGRADS about the immigrant student movement. 

THROUGH THE WALL on The Guardian