Welcome to the first blog post entry! Sending another huge thank you to those who backed Traces of Home on Kickstarter – we would not be at this stage in the filmmaking process without our community’s support.
After months of preparation, we are gearing up to travel to Mexico tomorrow. Finding the records of the house in Mexico has proven to be much easier than in Palestine, where all old documents and photos were purposefully erased by Zionist settlers in 1948. We also still have much of our family in Mexico City, who have been a tremendous help in helping jog my mother’s memories of where the house might be.
I learned quite a bit regarding filming from our journey to Palestine back in March. From continuing to roll both during emotional moments AND down time, I now understand the importance of what may seem like mundane scenes to flesh out my parents and me as full characters. We are excited to work with a local crew of four during our 10 days of filming in Mexico: Monica Wise, our cinematographer, Rodrigo De Vega, our sound recordist, Monica Araiz, our fixer, and Samuel, our PA driver. It was very important to me to work with individuals who knew the city well, as well as to support their livelihoods in the local film industry.
In the 10 days we will be there, we will split our time between Mexico City and Tijuana. My mother lived in two homes in Mexico – one was downtown, and the other was in a suburb a little ways out from Mexico City. We will search for both, as well as visit the civil registry to ask for any death records of my grandfather. We will then travel to Tijuana for two days to film at the border. I connected with an organization titled Border Angels, which helps migrants prepare to cross and get their documentation prepared. We will film at their center, as well as show the border wall that has split thousands of communities and families. My grandmother escaped and crossed over in 1962, separating from her children for 7 months while waiting for their naturalization papers.
I have never been to Mexico City, and I have no doubt that it will be an extremely emotional experience. I am eager to visit family I have never met and reconnect with roots that I was detached from since birth. I’m also very excited to practice my rusty Spanish! I plan to post here every evening while we are filming – be sure to save the link in your bookmarks to keep updated!
Director, Traces of Home