Waking Dream weaves together the stories of six undocumented young people as they sit in limbo between deportation and a path to citizenship. Waking Dream follows the unfolding fate of six young people as they fight for legal status in the U.S., struggle with the deportation of family members, and pursue their dreams in a country that is trying harder and harder to push them out.
It was a powerful and moving film. Waking Dream illustrates and illuminates the people and the stories to bring to life the caricature, as presented in the media. The film showing and discussion allowed our class to take a step back, and was space for folks to speak, and to listen. Immigration issues, particularly regarding DACA, connects folks beyond time and space, and the film showing somehow makes that connection real.
In 2012, DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) gave 800,000 undocumented young people, who had been in the U.S. since they were small children, a chance to work legally, go to college, start businesses, and pursue the “American Dream.” When the program was rescinded by the Trump administration in 2017, DACA recipients suddenly risked losing it all. Waking Dream follows the unfolding fate of six of these young people as they fight for legal status in the U.S., struggle with the deportation of family members, and pursue their dreams in a country that is trying harder and harder to push them out. They know the wide-eyed hopes of their younger citizen siblings and children, as well as the pain and sacrifice of their undocumented parents. They know their fate must go one direction and they are fighting for their future in America.
The Waking Dream screenings represented an opportunity to bring our community together around one of the most pressing issues facing our students, our families, and our nation: immigration and human rights. The stories featured in Waking Dream brought to life the experiences of our own students and teachers, and we used the screening as an opportunity to have discussions with our local community members about DACA, undocumented families, and the ways that we can best support our students, parents, and faculty members facing anxiety and hardship resulting from shifting national policies.
Waking Dream is a must see for all social workers and students in schools of social work. The film speaks to the social justice and immigration issues of our time and provides social work faculty, students, and professionals with short documentary films that can be integrated in the class room, and within community based agencies.