Giants At The Border
A film by Derly Pérez
Giants at the Border follows the journey of two charismatic artists as they embark on a mission to put on a binational festival right at the border with the help of gigantic puppets and the community. Called to action by the election of Donald Trump and the pervasively toxic conversation around immigration in the US, the artists turn the table and allow the people who live on both sides of the border to shift the conversation to their own perspective.
What does the border symbolize to them? What does living right in the divide of two countries signify? What do they mean to each other as sister cities? As human beings?
Artists Ana Díaz Barriga and Jess Kaufman decide that they want to tackle the subject of the border. Based on their experiences with performance, puppetry and theatre, they conceive a unique idea. Two giant puppets that meet in the US/Mexico border from both sides that will make the border seem insignificant while they are there. There is one problem. Although both of them are accomplished artist, Jess works theatre, and Ana is a puppeteer and a designer, neither of them have ever made a large scale moving puppet. They’ll also have to enter in talks with border patrol and homeland security to be able to do their festival as well as with Mexican authorities. However that does not seem to deter the young artisans from their goal.
Part of their plan is that this festival is shared with the local community. Alongside other local community organizers, they gather members of the community drawn by mere curiosity in the Museum of contemporary art in Nogales Sonora, that is just a few meters away from the border crossing. There we meet young students from the local public high school and their Teacher, and through them we learn what it means to be young and aspiring person living in Nogales. We also meet other artists and poets that have a unique vision of what it means to be human, to share experiences and what it really is to live at the border.
This documentary tells those stories and aims to show that we are not different from each other, whether we have country lines that mark the territory; ideas and culture and art transend and finally, unite.