16 year-old runaway Juan Carlos returns home to forgive his father for the past.

Visitor’s Day is a moving, often intimate documentary about this place...An interesting profile of an impressive program for troubled youth, this is recommended. Aud: C, P. (T. Keogh) 

Video Librarian
Synopsis: 

Sixteen year old Juan Carlos ran away from an abusive home and lived on the streets of Mexico City for years before finding his way to IPODERAC, a unique group home and social enterprise located in Puebla, MX. IPODERAC is defined by a strong sense of brotherhood and sustained by the sale of artisanal goat cheese.

Visitor’s Day is an observational documentary that follows Juan Carlos throughout the most transformative year of his life, as he finds the strength to return to Mexico City to overcome his sense of abandonment and forgive his father for the past. Along the way we watch other boys overcome their own obstacles with the support of the extraordinary staff at IPODERAC.

Reviews

"With tenderness, intimacy, and patience, Opper’s camera brings us into the rooms where the boys are taught techniques in self-love and self-respect. In these scenes, Visitor’s Day becomes an essential tool for psychologists and social workers caring for younger populations...Further, as a documentary situated in the successful IPODERAC Center, Visitors Day presents a case-study in sustainable social service work. This makes Visitors Day an ideal tool for Sociology and Cultural Studies classrooms where students consider social change and social justice initiatives." 

Giovanna Chesler, Director of the Film and Video Studies Program, George Mason University
Director's Commentary: 

I first encountered the IPODERAC boys as an eighteen year old volunteer, and I was deeply moved by my experience there. The boys at IPODERAC come from all over the country. Most ran away to escape abuse and lived on the streets for months or years before they get here. Many of them have never been able to trust an adult before IPODERAC, but they quickly learn to become accountable to one another and to their adopted home. Eleven years after volunteering as a teenager, I unearthed the journal I kept during my time there. In it, I had vowed to come back and make a documentary about this place. I returned to IPODERAC to fulfill this promise.