A free screening of the film, “Sad Happiness: Cinthya’s Cross Border Journey,” will begin at 4 p.m. Friday as part of Saint Martin’s University’s Harvie Social Justice Lecture Series.
The film’s producer, photographer and editor is Sonia De La Cruz, an assistant professor of communication studies at Saint Martin’s. She said the documentary illuminates the desires and struggles of the millions of families divided between the United States and another country, where children are mobile U.S. citizens but their parents cannot travel to their homeland because of their immigration status.
“When parents are undocumented Mexicans and their children are U.S. citizens, there are difficult inequalities that exist within the same family,” De La Cruz said. “The children have access to a wide range of benefits associated with citizenship and can come and go freely across the U.S.-Mexican border to visit family.”
The film tells the story of 11-year-old Cinthya, a child who travels for the first time to her parents’ native community in Mexico, where she visits her extended family, many of whom she has never met. She learns about her family’s cultural heritage and history and tries to make sense of her own identity.
The film, which debuted in 2015, has been screened at film festivals and education conferences around the country and in Mexico.
The screening at Saint Martin’s, which is free, will be in Harned Hall 110.