After the announcement of the policy known as "Deferred Action", Vanessa, an undocumented teenager, contemplates the possibility of a future she was ready to give up on. How will this life-changing opportunity impact her life and the lives of those around her?
"Avila Hanna brings an insider's heart and outsider's skill to bear on this portrait of one young woman whose undocumented status is shadowing her future. Poignant, eye-opening, and only hesitantly joyous, Vida Diferida should be required viewing in schools everywhere."
This documentary film tells the story of Vanessa, a teenager born in Mexico who has lived in the United States with her family since she was six years old. Once an excelling middle-school student with big dreams of becoming a doctor, Vanessa begins to be haunted by her undocumented status as she reaches high school. Reconsidering her aspirations, Vanessa begins to give up on academics. Then, in the summer of 2012, President Obama approves the "Deferred Action" policy that would grant Vanessa immunity from being deported for the next two years, allow her to get a job and apply to college. Vanessa’s story offers a window into the DACA generation, the impact of this policy on a young person’s life and the new challenges ahead. As government policies take new turns with a new admnistration, Vida Diferida highlights the uncertainties haunting undocumented youth and their families in the USA .
"The director brilliantly juxtaposes Vanessa’s coming-of-age with immigration policies and practices at a larger scale, which, rather than help immigrant families reunite, have grown increasingly discriminatory and racist. Vanessa’s personal cinematic vignette and the portrayal of her family’s struggles to stay afloat invite classroom discussion on immigration policies and practices and their direct impact and influence at personal, local, state, and federal levels."
"(...) will move you to tears. The film shows how similar teens lives are no matter where in the country they live. Beautifully directed (...) able to capture the teenage voice as well as rich history of Mexican immigration to America"