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100 Ways to Cross the Border

View on the Pragda STREAM site

At a time when there is more and more news in the mainstream media about the U.S.-Mexico border, 100 Ways to Cross the Border (2022) presents the work and philosophical frameworks of an artist who has had a sustained dedication to radical, highly impactful, and innovative artistic interventions on the border. This vibrant documentary explores the 40-year career of prolific Latinx performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña as he enacts his interventions by “queering the border” — claiming all borders as queer and liminal spaces.

‘I’ve been fighting to control my image for only 40 years and the fight never ends!’, notes Gómez-Peña ironically, turning the camera for a moment on the film’s director Amber Bay Bemak, reversing the gaze. The moment encapsulates their life as a Mexican/Chicanx performance artist, activist, and founder of the trans-disciplinary arts organization La Pocha Nostra (LPN), as well as Bemak’s approach as a documentary filmmaker.

Gómez-Peña and Bemak attempt to queer all sorts of borders – not only territorial but also those relating to race, gender, sexuality, and even filmmaking. With intimacy and honesty, this film shares Gómez-Peña and LPN’s ethos and practice, creating an open space for collaboration both behind and in front of the camera, resulting in a work that embodies LPN’s multi-centric and fluid approach to narrative.

An ideal film to screen during Hispanic Heritage Month, 100 Ways to Cross the Border celebrates Gómez-Peña and the contributions his radical, queer, anti-colonial art has made to conversations around border thinking, gender politics, and Latinx identity.

Original score by Guillermo Galindo.

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