Across the Border (1982) 8min · Short · 9 March 1982
In Across the Border, filmmaker Dana Plays expresses her lifelong commitment to the culture of Latin America. More specifically, her film offers the viewer an unusual insight into the complex relationship between the people of El Salvador and the United States government. Completed in 1982, during a period in which many American artists were trying to convey their anger with their own country's politics. Across the Border transcends the conventions of social documentary as we have come to know it through public television. Instead, Plays manipulates visual elements that compose the image through coloring and fragmentation. She uses this process of deconstruction to lead to a greater understanding of those "man-made" constructs that are responsible for the oppression she has witnessed. But Plays' message is hardly dogmatic. The subtlety of her collage-like style suggests a very open message, giving the viewer the opportunity to enter the work as a thinking human being rather than a receptacle of one person's point of view. Dana Plays' personal involvement with the people of El Salvador follows in the tradition of a cross cultural awareness expressed by other women filmmakers such as Maya Deren (Haiti), Margaret Meed (Bali, New Guinea) and Chick Strand (Mexico). - Written by Lynne Sachs
Director(s): Dana Plays Cast: Philippe Bourgois
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