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Train to Nowhere: Inside an Immigrant Death Investigation

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Contact: Paul Kakert   
Director: Paul Kakert
Writer: Colleen Bradford Krantz
Producer: Colleen Bradford Krantz, Paul Kakert
Runtime: 60 min
Synopsis: When the bodies of eleven Central Americans and Mexicans were found inside a freight car in Denison, Iowa, a hardened Immigration and Naturalization Services investigator was assigned to the case. He found his professional detachment gradually melting away as he befriended a young Guatemalan victim's brother while hunting for the smugglers who locked the group inside the sweltering railcar. Eight years after their deadly journey, immigration remains a hotly contested issue, with President Barack Obama promising major changes in immigration policy.

The documentary, 'Train to Nowhere; Inside an Immigrant Death Investigation,' offers an honest, but compassionate look at the deaths of the eleven undocumented immigrants. The documentary breaks free of the standard immigration story in examining the case from various viewpoints: that of the immigration agent, the brother of a victim from Guatemala, and a one-time train conductor imprisoned for working with the smugglers. Viewers will see beyond the superficial levels of the people involved in the story and understand the complexities of their personalities and the situation. The immigration agent himself is the grandson of an undocumented immigrant. He remembers traveling to Idaho as a boy for the sugar beet harvest. The former train conductor, once paid to help slip people into the United States by train, has a new career in which he helped build a section of the new border wall. The older brother, once an undocumented immigration himself, begged his little brother to remain in Central America even as the older man's financial situation showed the younger man what could be achieved. These kinds of situations make immigration a complex issue, far from black and white.

'Train to Nowhere; Inside an Immigrant Death Investigation' takes the viewers from the streets of southern Texas, to a Guatemalan farm, to the Iowa town where the bodies were found. Using medical experts and scientists, it also describes what those horrific last hours would have been like for the people locked in the railcar. This film is about our shared humanity - the ambitions and hopes of those who would allow a smuggler to lock them inside a railcar, and about those left behind to ask, 'Where did we go wrong?'
  Copyright: 2010 Storytellers International and Colleen Bradford Krantz
Genre: Documentary
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"This film focuses on the human drama of the people and families invol. . .[click for more]"

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