Torn Apart: Separated at the Border
Directed by Ellen Goosenberg Kent
USA | 39 min | 2019
Separated at the Border illuminates a dark chapter in America’s immigration history through the traumas and triumphs of two mothers who fled life-threatening violence to seek asylum in the United States, only to be detained and separated from their children. The film investigates the intended and unintended consequences when government policies undercut our laws, creating a human rights crisis. Torn Apart takes an intimate, humanizing look at a deeply divisive issue and the heroic advocates fighting for justice.
Traveling across the country from Texas to New York, Georgia and Arizona, the film illuminates the grueling journey these and many other migrant families make to reach the U.S., only to have their children transported to facilities hundreds, if not thousands, of miles away.
Providing a human context to a fraught political issue, the documentary shows how arduous reunification is after separation for asylum seekers. The backlog of cases in immigration court is nearing 900,000, and the ACLU estimates that as many as 6000 children have been separated from their parents before during and since “zero tolerance” officially ended.
Ellen Goosenberg Kent
Director/producer Ellen Goosenberg Kent is a multi-award winning filmmaker whose work includes the Oscar®-winning Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1, the Emmy®-nominated Alive Day Memories: Home From Iraq, Wartorn and One Nation Under Dog, both of which earned TV Academy Honors. Her work for HBO includes the Primetime Emmy®-winning programs I Have Tourette’s But Tourette’s Doesn’t Have Me, Happy to Be Nappy and Other Stories of Me, How Do You Spell God? and Going, Going, Almost Gone! Animals in Danger. Ellen has also earned two prestigious Peabody Awards and two best director nominations from The Director’s Guild of America, among many other honors and film festival showcases.
Torn Apart is executive produced by Julian Hobbs (Emmy® winner for Gettysburg) and Elli Hakami (The Lake Erie Murders, America’s War on Drugs) of Talos Films.