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Miles from the Border

by Ellen Frankenstein

A portrait of a Mexican-American family caught between cultures

Manuela and Ben Aparicio, sister and brother, brought by their parents in search of a better future, arrived in the United States from a rural village in Mexico to an ethnically divided community in California. Twenty years later, they share their stories of dislocation and their determination to succeed. They sensitively portray their struggles to learn English, resist efforts to be pushed into vocational programs, go on to universities, and help other immigrants achieve and find balance in the changing demographics of American society. Their story of claiming a place poses critical questions about identity, adaptation and survival in a multicultural world.

full review

quoteRadiates humanity. Inspirational!
Eduardo Diaz
Director, San Antonio CineFestival

quoteA film anyone can relate to. I felt like I was watching a family of heroes.
Daniel Dupill
Los Angeles Public Library

quoteAn excellent film for sensitizing teachings to students with their changing cultural and linguistic backgrounds.
Dr. Ellen Riojas-Clark
Bilingual/Bicultural Studies
University of Texas, San Antonio


  • Nissan Focus Documentary Award
  • Special Jury Award, San Antonio CineFest
  • Margaret Mead International Film Festival
  • International Festival of New Latin American Cinema
  • Mundos en Contraste, Spain

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Miles from the Border

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Appropriate for: High School College/University

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Spanish version available