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Ways of Being Home

This  intimate cinematic  portrait of two small towns - one in Mexico and one in Minnesota - is  an  evocative  audiovisual meditation on  the  experience of Mexican immigrants living and working  in rural America. Vivid cinematography,  richly layered soundscapes, short animated sequences, and a constellation of testimonies introduce audiences to  Maltrata, an  agricultural town nestled in the mountains of Veracruz, Mexico,  and to Northfield, a college town in southern  Minnesota  where many  Maltratans have immigrated and settled. By  means of a nonlinear narrative and a camera that  thoughtfully  yet viscerally meanders between everyday scenes  in both towns, Chilean-American  director Cecilia Cornejo Sotelo (dir. I WONDER WHAT YOU WILL REMEMBER OF SEPTEMBER)  shows  the complexities of, and contrasts between, these places.  

Filmed  amidst increasing violence  and political unrest  in Mexico and  the rising  anti-immigrant sentiment that  took hold during and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election,  the voices of fiercely determined and hard-working women coalesce to offer a nuanced portrait of a transnational community.  Ultimately, the  film is a testament  to the resiliency and ingenuity of uprooted people as they craft a life and a home  fostered by ritual, relationship, and community rather than solely by geography.