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