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Children in No Man's Land

by Anayansi I Prado

Award-winning documentary that uncovers the plight of unaccompanied immigrant minors entering the United States.

Named 'Best Film' by The Center for Mexican-American Studies and Research

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Children In No-Man's Land is an award-winning documentary that uncovers the current plight of the 100,000 unaccompanied minors entering the United States. The film will give this timely political debate about the U.S.-Mexico border a human face by exploring the stories of Maria de Jesus (13) and her cousin Rene (12) as they attempt to cross the US/Mexico border alone to reunite with their mothers in the Midwest. Focusing on minors crossing through the Sonora Desert area in Nogales, Arizona, this film will explore every detail of these children's journey as well as the journeys of other children we meet on the way as we uncover in an intimate and personal way where they are coming from, what their journeys have been like and how they've gone about it, through to the arrival at their destination their new home, The United States of America.

quoteChildren in No Man's Land is a powerful documentary ideal for those teaching about immigration, ethnicity, stratification, and family. Used in tandem with either literary narratives or empirical analysis on immigration, this movie provides a humanistic and thought provoking first-hand narrative on international migration and immigrants.
Belinda Lum, Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology, Affiliated Faculty, Ethnic Studies Program, University of San Diego

quoteChildren in No Man's Land reveals the shocking world of unaccompanied kids crossing the border. Through the retelling of these young people's experiences and Maria de Jesus' and Renee's stories one sees the environment and circumstances that motivates these youngsters' desperate decisions. Regardless of where one stands on the immigration debate, this documentary works as a good starting point to open up the discussion on immigration issues and policy in the United States.
Reviewed by Charmaine Henriques, Northwestern University Library, Evanston, IL
Educational Media Reviews Online
full review

quoteChildren in No Man's Land is a must-see for those of us who teach about the United States' relationship with our south-of-the-border neighbors, those who teach new arrivals in our K-12 schools, those who work in the health professions, with religious groups, and other non-profit organizations, and governmental organizations that work with migrants. The film does not try to appeal to our emotions but to our sense of humanity.
Eva L. Santos-Phillips, Ph.D. Latin American Studies Coordinator, Professor of Spanish, Dept. of Foreign Languages, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.</p>


  • Best Film, The Center for Mexican-American Studies and Research (2012)
  • American Documentary Showcase, Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs of the US Department of States, 2009
  • United Nations Association Film Festival, 2008
  • Human Rights Institute, University of Connecticut, 2008
  • Northwestern University, 2008
  • Border Institute, University of San Diego, 2008
  • Guadalajara Film Festival, 2008
  • Los Angeles Latino Film Festival, 2008
  • Salt Lake City Film Forum, 2008
  • Morelia Film Festival, 2008

Resource Web Sites

appleDiscussion Guide

Discussion guide to help facilitate dialogue after viewing of the film. Good for classroom as well as community screenings. A facilitator's guide is also available.

appleFacilitator's guide

Facilitator's guide meant to help in organizing of community grass-root screenings as well as screenings by student organizations. Guide provides suggestions from how and where to adverstise the screening to tips on the day of the event and ideas for audience engagement after viewing of the film.

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Children in No Man's Land

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