First landing on our radar with the award-winning 499, Mexican-American director Rodrigo Reyes is back with Sansón and Me, a documentary that follows a migrant caught at the intersection of mass incarceration and immigration. Winner of the Best Film Award at Sheffield Doc Fest, the film will arrive via Cinema Guild, beginning at BAM on March 3 and expanding on March 10. Ahead of the theatrical run, we’re pleased to exclusively debut the first trailer.
A decade in the making, Sansón and Me is set between Californian prisons and coastal Mexico. The project began when Reyes was working as a court interpreter in rural California for the then 19-year-old undocumented Mexican migrant Sansón Noé Andrade, who was sentenced to two life sentences without parole in Pelican Bay State Prison. Through letters and visits, Andrade shared his story with Reyes. Unable to film inside the prison, the tale is told through dramatic reenactments by Sansón’s own family and newcomer Gerardo Reyes.
“Human beings have a deep, visceral need for art and storytelling. They are part of how we come to know the world and yes, absolutely, understand one another. In many ways, that’s the heart of what Sansón and Me is all about, two friends trying to understand each other by sharing stories. We must believe in the power of cinema to tell these stories, otherwise it would be an artform without a soul,” the director said. “I know in my heart that Sansón is not alone. There are thousands of other young men who have lived through his journey, who will unfortunately be caught up in the dual tragedies of their mistakes and the failures of society just do right by then. I know that folks will see themselves in this film.”
See the trailer and poster below.
Sansón and Me opens on March 3 and will expand.