Still frame from the film Citizens - border family.

A Scene From Citizens*: The Border Family

One of my favorite scenes while filming Citizens* was when I was shooting in Imperial Beach, CA at the Border Field State Park. The park is old ranch land, scrub brush, and sand and borders the Pacific Ocean and Tijuana, Mexico. I was invited to join a group of students who participate in discussions about humanity and their own personal growth. They use the border fence as a means of discussion about their own personal “fences”.

What I loved about this particular scene was the little boy and his family. On the USA side, we weren’t allowed to get within 100 feet of the border fence—a border agent and high tech cameras were watching us at all times. Yet this little boy was walking in between the fence posts like it was nothing. He would wander in and out on both sides of the border while his parents waved and smiled from the Mexico side. To be honest, it surprised me; It wasn’t at all what I expected. I think due to the media we tend to believe that the only people inhabiting the border are criminals and murderers. While there is definitely a criminal element on the border, there are also regular people, families, and children—just trying to live their daily lives.

– Jacob A Tapia, Director / Cinematographer


Posted in Production Notes and tagged , , , , , , .
  • Madeline Sloan

    R. CHENEY: Well, we’ve tightened up significantly on the borders since 9/11. We’ve had to. We’ve significantly beefed up our border security and so forth. But it continues to be a problem. Part of the difficulty that we’re faced with, and one of the things that the President talked about with respect to the immigration policy is that we’ve got so many people coming across illegally — primarily for economic reasons, that want to come to work in the United States. But we have no idea who is here. We have no idea what they do once they get here. We have no idea how long they’re going to stay, and that there was a need to try to regularize this process. And what he has suggested is that we ought to consider the possibility of having what, in effect, would be a guest worker program so we’d know who was coming in, and that once here, then, they’d stay for a specific period of time. And they they’d have to go back home once their period of time was ended. They could not become citizens. But we would have track of who, in fact, was in the country. That’s been proposed. Now, it’s just an idea, a concept.

    • Jacob Tapia

      Thank you for the comment Madeline! That’s an interesting idea and it sounds like a solid solution if it works. Thanks for sharing your info and please make sure to keep in touch – the film (Citizens*) will be finished shortly!
      - Jacob A Tapia (Director)