Atlanta, Cucalorus, RiverRun, Napa Valley, Kansas, St Louis, Charleston, Dances With Films, Boston Latino
An undocumented man has just four months before making a life-altering decision.
When Miguel Cortes’ car is pulled over with no apparent cause by a police officer, the Mexican national had been living a peaceful life in North Carolina for a dozen years with his wife and daughters. Despite his undocumented status, he was employed and paid taxes, but the encounter with the authorities upended his life. He’s given the option of leaving the country voluntarily within 120 days, and thus keeping open the possibility that changes to immigration law might allow him to one day return legally, but to do so would mean becoming separated from his family. If his family joins him, they would face economic uncertainty, with his children additionally foregoing a US education. If Cortes and his family remain in the country, they would have to relocate, assume new identities, and live in constant fear of being discovered as fugitives. Despite some clunkiness in Roach’s approach – including superfluous narration and a level of naivete from Cortes around immigration law that’s a bit hard to believe – the film succeeds in putting a human face on draconian immigration policy as the family faces this dilemma.