Monday, November 11, 2013

Edward James Olmos Narrates Another Harrowing Look at Illegal Immigration

Five years after beginning work on the documentary and two years after a successful Kickstarter campaign, Maryland writer-producer Virgina Wolf is finally ready to show A Bridge Apart to her supporters.

The documentary, which plumbs the real-life side of a topic Gregory Nava so adeptly explored in his groundbreaking 1983 indie drama El Norte, screens for free tomorrow night at the Bethesda Blues and Jazz Supper Club. Wolf was able to enlist name-brand actor Edward James Olmos to narrate her look at the long treks made by Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala residents hoping to gain illegal entry into the U.S.

Wolf, the founder of Virginia Wolf Productions, has won three local Emmys over the years for her work as a writer and producer. A key collaborator for this project was cinematographer and director Frank Maniglia Jr. (pictured above, with Wolf), president and co-owner of Falls Church, Virginia firm MVI Post. He also has won three Emmys.

In one of her Kickstarter updates, Wolf outlined the passion that Olmos showed for this assignment:

In 1998, Olmos founded Latino Public Broadcasting, a subsidiary of PBS, and currently serves as Chairman of the Board. Long a strong advocate for the Latino community, he has been very supportive of the message we are telling in A Bridge Apart, so much so that he chose to come from Los Angeles to Washington to record the narration for the film. Needless to say, he did a wonderful job, lending a powerful voice to a dramatic story.

An important message of A Bridge Apart is that it is often rather simple things, like a new water main in an impoverished village, that can help stem the tide of desperate, northbound immigration. From the film synopsis:

Most of them are poor, living on less than $2.00 per day. Others are children or adolescents trying to reunite with their mother or father who left them behind years before. Many will be traveling alone and at great risk of being kidnapped or trafficked.
In the last year or two, narco-traffickers and gangs have come to realize that trafficking for ransom or sexual slavery can be just as lucrative as smuggling drugs. The migrants on their journey have become easy targets. Kidnapping has grown to be the largest humanitarian crises in the Americas. The documentary will follow the trafficking story across the borders into the United States, where sexual slavery is a thriving business in cities like New York and the Washington, D.C. area.

[A Bridge Apart]

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