Immigration detention, in particular for minors, is still a heated topic in the U.S. Despite the end of family separation, there are still hundreds of children detained because of it. Even worse, there’s a startling 13,000 children in immigration detention centers right now. Most of the kids have crossed over to the U.S. alone, without their parents, The New York Times reports.
Artists tell stories from moments in history like this and, as such, the immigration crisis is being told. Filmmaker Daniel Sawka made a short film “Icebox” about the detention of minors in the U.S. That same short film of 33 seconds is being extended into a feature film to further tell the story about one young boy’s tale in a detention center. The film was presented at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
“Icebox” is a short film starring Anthony Gonzalez, who played the beloved Miguel in Pixar’s “Coco.”
The film is about a young boy, played by Gonzalez, who becomes trapped inside “America’s rigid immigration process.” You see the young boy struggle to understand what is happening as he is manhandled by immigration officers.
The film touches on gang violence in Honduras and the reason so many minors are being forced to flee their country.
CREDIT: Gracie Films
Gonzalez plays Oscar who’s being held in a detention center, otherwise known as an ice box. The detention centers are referred too as ice boxes because they are kept at very cold temperatures.
According to the film’s website, Oscar is trying to gain control of his life.
CREDIT: Gracie Films
It is hard to tell what brought Oscar to the U.S. It might seem like he is an unaccompanied minor, however, unaccompanied minors are being created by the administration separating families. It is impossible to tell definitively if his parents were with him at the border until the movie is released.
The film was almost an Oscar contender for film’s released in 2017, which is the same time “Coco” was released. The film is now getting more attention because of what’s going on in our country.
The film is now going to be a feature film thanks to legendary writer, director, and producer, by James L. Brooks. He said it was this short film that opened his eyes to what was going on right here in the U.S.
It’s unclear if Gonzalez will play Oscar once again, but “Icebox” director Daniel Sawka is involved in the feature film version. He says it was his own story of immigration that made him want to do the film.
“For generations on my father’s side, people have been forced to migrate and relocate and find new homes,” Sawka said in an interview with Business Insider. “It’s something I never experienced, but I was brought up on these stories and I wanted to find out more. Understand it better.”