I guess this is a popular title, an author I know has a book coming out soon by the same title. This Homeland Insecurity is a wonderful set of three indie documentaries. I am a huge fan of the indie world. The indie film maker does it because he can, not because he is being payed a million dollars by some main stream media company to reflect their political ideas.

Bill Brown is a much underrated film maker, he not only has a great eye for camera angle, but his narration is superb. CNN has mega bore Lou Dobbs whining day after day about illegal immigration from Mexico, yet many border states rely on the cheap and plentiful labor market. Agriculture in California would die without the migrant labor.

Bill Brown takes a journey along the border, a 2000 mile sojourn from Texas to the Pacific Ocean and documents what he sees and hears on ‘The Other Side’. He has a very unique style of film making, it at first has the look and feel of a home movie, yet the narration is flowing, and the camera perspective is far beyond that of some hack with a ‘Best Buy’ Digi-cam (or whatever the gizmos are called) could do.

He starts his trip to paradise actually at a truck stop in Martha, Texas, a town known for little more that mystery lights in the sky.

His original plan was to drive non stop and “nose my car into the Pacific Ocean”, but that can not be done, it has nothing to do with how big your gas tank is, or how large your bladder may be, it is the crossing of state borders. Having played this game myself, I understand Bill’s frustration. You have to stop and explain where you are coming from and where you are going to. Bill refers to it as a training ground for dealing with the Mexican border, and he may well be right. Post 9/11 the amount of ‘official’ checking has certainly expanded. For the most part it matters not if you are White, Black, or shades of color. To rebuke the questions will surely mean at the very least a delay, and a serious search of your vehicle.

The land itself in someways form the boundaries between Mexico and the US. In the case of El Paso it is the Rio Grande.

Tensions run high in the border regions. Douglas, Arizona is a fine example. Do the illegal immigrants take US jobs? Some say yes, some say no, but the one hard fact that you can factually see is the number of dead people, migrants trying to cross the arid desert.

In Nogales the border is declared by the existence of a 12 foot high metal wall, on the US side it is blank, boring, and an eyesore, on the Mexican side it is the target of slogan writers, artists, and sadly a growing number of simple white painted crosses, each representing a person that lost their life trying to cross the desert into the US.

I really like Bill Brown’s style, easy going, great dialog, but maybe most of all the non judgmental style. Who is right, and who is wrong? The immigration issue is a hot one in the hunt for the next White House resident. Those people should maybe take some time out from flapping their lips, which they are so good at, and watch this documentary.

I hope to be interviewing Bill Brown in the next couple of days, and I have to say that I am really looking forward to it. This is indie the way it is supposed to be. The MSM (Main Stream Media) would not talk to Bill Brown on a dare. “God forbid we upset someone”, particularly if it involves something important. The border region between the US and Mexico, is a different place. It belongs to neither side, and to erect fences or walls, is nothing less than the Russians did in Berlin. It breaks up families, it breaks up continuity, and in my opinion goes completely against the ‘world economy’.

This is a wonderful DVD, take a deep breath of fresh air and give this a try. You can get your copy from MVD.

Simon Barrett

http://zzsimonb.blogspot.com

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