Written and directed by: Dorian Gómez Pestaña
Produced by: Dorian Gómez Pestaña & Mario Torres
Co-Produced by: My Creators
Line-Producer: Jamila Davenport
The American dream entails a castle. A home that is your jurisdiction, where you can feel safe, where you can live and grow, a place to call your own and kick off the boots and put down some roots. A homebase where families can grow and shrink, where you can maintain a sense of privacy and refuge when it’s you against the outside world. We all work for it, we all plan and save for it, we all dream about it. Today, that dream is unattainable for many people. For undocumented migrants? It’s damn near an impossibility, particularly when there’s so much uncertainty about even planting seeds out of fear of being uprooted.
But some brave forward and sign the paperwork that allows them to become wardens of their own plot of land. The DACA program has afforded many undocumented migrants this opportunity, and many have seized it, all in the hopes that a pathway to citizenship allows for them to reap the benefits of their investment and to continue to plan ahead. But in the last several years, the temporary solution has become all the more fragile, with no real solution in sight.
In “Refugio,” director Dorian Gomez tells the story of a young DACAmented woman who made the leap of faith and purchased a home for herself and her parents. In the film, we see the conflict, heaviness, and payoff of such a big decision. “A home isn’t just a location,” said Dorian. “It’s also a character in its own way, present in your daily life. And whatever happens inside, the house retains that energy. And I want to show that.”
Breathy, full of sparse moments of texture and complication, “Refugio” is a glimpse of the American dream when it’s turned inside out, exposed for what it truly is for many migrants: a fleeting moment in the light of dawn, right before they wake up to reality.
is a Queer Mexican filmmaker, storyteller, and multidisciplinary artist raised in the South. She is a founding member of the Undocumented Filmmakers Collective, a podcaster, sound designer, educator, and interpreter. Her most recent work includes being the creative director and editor for the Nuestro South Podcast, which explores the history of Mexican immigrants in the South during the Jim Crow Era and compares it to the immigrant experience of today.