Three years ago, Filipe DeAndrade was a rookie filmmaker, fresh off winning the Wild to Inspire short film competition at the Sun Valley Film Festival. At the festival this year, he presented as an artist who had come into his own, having recently cut a doc for Nat Geo Wild, and teased a documentary about the Rio Grande Valley—ground zero for a contentious debate over immigration.
"Nobody was talking about the impact of a border wall on the wildlife and the culture of that area," DeAndrade said at SVFF. "So, for three months we traveled the Rio Grande. We traveled every mile of the Rio Grande, by mountain bike, by horseback or by canoe."
That documentary, The River and The Wall, will screen at The Flicks on Thursday, June 27, with an accompanying discussion led by Dr. Jill Gill of Boise State University about the historical and social stakes of the plan to construct a wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.
"There's this history that Jill can elucidate, but there are all these other issues," said Adrienne Evans of United Vision for Idaho, which is presenting the screening, about the confluence of ideas invoked by the film. "We don't live one-dimensional lives."
Throughout his travels along the Rio Grande in the film, DeAndrade captures the voices of the people who live there, like immigrants, environmentalists and members of communities along the border. Audiences will see the spectacle of that inhospitable terrain while hearing about public lands, human rights, threatened species and racism. The purpose of the screening, Evans said, is to dig deeper than the talking points and sound bites surrounding the white-hot issue.
"You need to deepen your understanding so your opinions are reflective of the realities," she said.
The event kicks off at 7 p.m. Tickets are $12, $10 for students and seniors.