A town left behind is captured visually through the beauty of art.
Length: 57 min
Director/Producer: Yolanda Cruz
Co-Producer: Carlos Ignacio Cruz
Cinematographer: John Simmons, ASC
Editor: Mako Kamitzuna
Daily, thousands of primarily poor and young indigenous Mexicans abandon their native homes. They start voyages to the "first world" in search of jobs and the hope of a brighter future--or, indeed, any economic future at all. In their wake, they leave behind the hollow footprints of a cultural and domestic abandonment. 2501 Migrants illustrates this through the story of Alejandro Santiago, a middle-aged artist and family man from Oaxaca, Mexico. Relatively affluent and erudite, Alejandro returns home after a brief self-exile in France. But upon arrival to his native Teococuilco, he is struck by what he perceives as a virtual "ghost town." Alejandro experiences, first hand, the reality that Oaxaca has emerged as one of Mexico's leading "exporters of human labor" to the United States. Inspired by this, he decides to create a monumental installation art piece: 2,501 life-size sculptures— an homage to each individual migrant who left his village.
2501 Migrants: A Journey, succeeds in posing one of the central questions of our times: Is Alejandro Santiago an example of an "artist as catalyst for social change?" Is 2,501 Migrants an original model for creating art around community building?
DVD Catalog: CLS1098
DVD UPC: 881394109827
"Cruz allows her subjects to tell the story in their own words. But the perspective is uniquely hers, a reflection of someone with an intimate knowledge of both sides of the border."
- Frank Kosa, Los Angeles Times
"A remarkably original documentary portrait of a unique Oaxacan artistic initiative that captures the hopes and struggles of rural communities that send workers across the border.
- Jonathan Fox, Professor of Latin American Studies, UC Santa Cruz