|Borderline: Malkovich Uncovers Hidden Lines between Mexico and US|
Actor, John Malkovich is currently producing two films tackling the issues of Mexican-US border relations and migration.
In both films, he brings topical and political issues to the fore. His documentary, ‘Which Way Home,’ with award-winning actress, Rebecca Cammisa, highlights the emotional and physical plight of child migration from Latin-America. Malkovich is also directing crime thriller, ‘Triple Crossing,’ headed up by actors, Gael García Bernal, of The Motorcycle Diaries,’ and Diego Luna, of ‘Y Tu Mamá También” fame’. The film aims to bring viewers’ attention to diverse social attitudes, criminality and drug-trafficking.
‘Triple Crossing’ is the second feature film directed by Malkovich. It appears to be a progression from his debut feature, The Dancer Upstairs, (2002) which has a similar focus, theme and landscape. The story is adapted from the upcoming first novel of Los Angeles Times' award-winning writer, Sebastian Rotella, who is also penning the screenplay.
In Variety magazine, Malkovich praised Rotella: ‘Sebastian is one of the finest journalists out there. He is an exciting and insightful writer.”
‘Triple Crossing’ is a contemporary crime thriller, set in the Mexican-American border. It follows a young US border patrol agent, Valentine, who infiltrates a dangerous Mexican family of drug-traffickers and assassins. Authorities on both sides of the border suspect the family is getting involved with a new mafia of Asian gangsters who are assimilating into the lawless border triangle of Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay. Valentine must choose which side of the line he is on.
Malkovich is clearly passionate about border issues affecting Latin America and the US. And with recent policy changes, there is definitely scope for such a documentary.
‘Which Way Home,’ follows the story of three children and their families. Filming, which is planned to take place on both sides of the border, follows the children leaving their homes in Latin America to their arrival at the border, as well as telling the story of their parents already in the US.
This documentary follows developments since October 2007, when Mexican leaders, national ministries and human rights organisations met to discuss the challenges of child migration in Mexico.
Karla Gallo, a consultant with UNICEF said: “Today the phenomenon of migration to the United States has a “new face”, invisible to authorities; one of thousands of children, boys and girls, who long for the American dream and leave their communities to seek a better way of life, or be reunited with their parents who have already gone to the ‘other side.”
Gallo believes this “new face” exists because of stiffening US migration policy, which forces many adults to leave their children at home, with arrangements for them to cross the border with ‘coyotes’ at a later date. President Obama has already begun to implement his new immigration laws, which should see a tighter US-Mexican border and grant citizenship to thousands of undocumented Latin Americans, in the hope of reducing illegal immigration and keeping families together. These political changes have provoked and incited jingoism and conflict from both side of the border. Malkovich attempts to draw attention to this issue, with a hard-hitting, emotional approach - Hollywood-style.
Both ‘Triple Crossing’ and ‘Which Way Home’ tackle issues of Latin American migration and crime but most importantly, they highlight the issue of borderlines, both physical and psychological, in both the Latin-American and US consciousness.