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“Documented”, a Film About a Pulitzer-Winning Journalist Who is Also an Undocumented Immigrant

UndocumentedFilmPostcardAnd now for something completely different.  I wish I went to the movies more often.  All those summer blockbusters (or busts)!  I actually haven’t been to the movies in ages.  I think that’s about to change.

Recently, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg took his first step on the national political stage when he publicly joined other tech leaders, civil rights activists and undocumented immigrants to call for the comprehensive overhaul of our nation’s immigration system.

Zuckerberg was at the West Coast premiere of Jose Antonio Vargas’s film “Documented,” a film that Vargas wrote and directed. Vargas, inarguably the most famous undocumented immigrant in America today, is a former San Francisco State student and San Francisco Chronicle staff writer who made national headlines by revealing in a 2011 New York Times Magazine essay that he is an undocumented immigrant.

“Documented”, directed by Vargas himself, centers around his personal experience as he prepared to reveal his undocumented status in the New York Times magazine essay.  The film shows Vargas traversing the country as he speaks at college campuses and visits conservative towns where undocumented immigrants are apparently not welcome.

Throughout the movie, Vargas reminds people that “there is no line” for him to join to acquire citizenship. When he engages some of Mitt Romney’s supporters at a 2011 campaign stop, Vargas says “But sir, but sir, there’s no line. … I was brought here when I was 12. I didn’t know I didn’t have papers since I was 16; my grandparents, who were American citizens, didn’t tell me. So I been here — I been paying taxes since I was 18, I just want to be able to get legal, to get in the back of the line somewhere.”

According to critics, Vargas elegantly positions immigration as the most controversial –  and least understood – political issue in the nation. I agree.  I liken it to the new third rail of politics.

I have not seen this movie yet.  But I will.

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