La Americana: One Continent. Two Countries. A World Apart.

By Leticia Miranda Dec 11, 2009

Maria del Carmen Rojas is an undocumented Bolivian immigrant who was forced to leave her home for New York City after a devastating bus accident left her daughter, Carla, paralyzed from the waist down. Drowning in medical bills and without any support from the father of her daughter, Carmen takes the brave journey north through Mexico and across the US border. For ten years, Carmen works cleaning high-end clothing stores, posh apartments and the small dogs that come with them to pay for Carla’s medical bills and basic needs. Told through a realist aesthetic, La Americana depicts the heartbreaking strain on the intimate relationship between a mother and daughter when they are forced to separate and the difficult decisions immigrants like Carmen must face to ensure the health of their families. The film sets Carmen’s story in conversation with the public immigration debate which effectively demonstrates the contrast between the lived realities of immigrants without papers and the scathing representations we find in mainstream media. Although a tragic and heartbreaking story of a mother who compromises her safety for the well-being of her daughter, La Americana also prompts viewers to consider how money sent home by immigrants here in the US literally becomes a lifeline to sustain their families at home and their home economies. There will be a community screening of the film hosted by TIGRA and La Liga Global in honor of International Migrants Day this Tuesday December 15 in San Francisco, CA. The screening will be followed by a dialogue where the audience will discuss some of the issues raised by the documentary and contextualize others not addressed by the documentary. Tuesday, December 15 992 Valencia St. San Francisco, CA Cross street is 21st St Film begins at 7pm Community dialogue is from 8- 9pm Admission $6 Check out the trailer below and visit the film’s website for more information about screenings near you.