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Of Kites and Borders: De Cometas y Fronteras    cover photo

Of Kites and Borders: De Cometas y Fronteras 2013


Distributed by Third World Newsreel, 545 Eighth Avenue, Suite 550, New York, NY 10018; 212-947-9277
Producer n/a
Directed by Yolanda Pividal
DVD, color, 88 min.

High School - General Adult
Adolescence, Children, Discrimination, Family, Geography, Emigration, Latin Americans, Law Enforcement, Poverty

Date Entered: 07/30/2015

Reviewed by Linda Frederiksen, Washington State University, Vancouver, WA

At 15, Edie is already a seasoned niño pollero, leading undocumented people across the U.S.-Mexican border; 9 year old Carmela flies homemade kites and helps her father look for scrap metal in the dumps of Tijuana; and brothers Fernando and Adrian dream of careers as professional wrestlers while street performing for pennies at the border crossing. None have been to the United States but imagine it to be a place of great beauty and wealth that is forever barred to them by a giant iron fence. More than just a line on a map, the border area between the two countries is a very real physical entity that dominates daily life. These children don’t just live at the border; they are inhabited by it.

Accompanied by an effective radio-station soundtrack and narrated entirely by the main characters and their families, this award-winning documentary provides a glimpse into daily life. Many Tijuana residents live and work in extreme poverty, in need of food, shelter, jobs, and safety, and finding relief from the daily struggle in unlikely places and events. Joining other films on the topic of U.S-Mexican relations, this well-constructed film is technically proficient while also maintaining a sense of poignancy. This is an excellent resource for discussions on the human toll of political and social policy. Recommended for public and academic library collections.