Saint Martin’s Robert Harvie Social Justice Lecture Series presents a screening of this rare documentary about the life and experiences of one U.S. citizen child of undocumented parents. The film, “Sad Happiness: Cinthya’s Cross Border Journey,” tells the story of 11-year-old Cinthya, a child who travels for the first time to her parents’ native community in Mexico to visit her extended family, many of whom she has never met. Shot in Oregon and Oaxaca and narrated by Cinthya, the film follows Cinthya’s trip to Teotitlán del Valle in Oaxaca with her godmother, anthropologist Lynn Stephen. While in Oaxaca, Cinthya participates in ritual activities in the annual fiesta for the town’s patron saint and explores Zapotec history and culture in museums and archaeological sites. Unable to accompany her because they cannot leave Oregon, her parents are omnipresent on her trip and in the film through phone calls with Cinthya to share key moments. Sonia De La Cruz, Ph.D., asst. prof. of communication studies at Saint Martin’s, the film’s producer, photographer and editor, says it illuminates the desires and struggles of millions of families divided between the United States and other countries where children are mobile citizens but their parents cannot leave.
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Prof. Robert Hauhard