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'Daring Journey': New documentary by Menlo Park filmmaker

 
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By Cristian Ponce | Special to the Almanac

Concentric Media and Eastside College Preparatory School will host a showing of "A Daring Journey, From Immigration to Education," a film by Dorothy Fadiman and Owen Tomlins, on Aug. 2 in East Palo Alto.

Ms. Fadiman, who lives and works in Menlo Park, is a producer, director and writer for Concentric Media and has been making films for 35 years.

Her new film follows three stories of people who risked their lives crossing the border into the United States from Mexico to seek a better life and education for themselves and their children.

The idea for the film occurred to Ms. Fadiman after a visit to a market in North Fair Oaks in 2010. The owner of the market told her his son was about to go to Vassar College.

"I realized that this was a special story of how this family had worked it out so that their son could go to a small, East Coast, progressive, four-year college," Ms. Fadiman says.

She thought this would be an intriguing story and began to follow the family, including the son as he pursued his education. For five years, she followed the son at Vassar, including his graduation in 2014.

"It grew from there because I began to realize that this was just a microcosm of something that was happening throughout the country," she says.

During a walk with her dog she ran into someone with a similar story. "A very nice man with a Spanish accent stopped to pet my dog and we started talking," Ms. Fadiman says. "And I just boldly asked him, 'Are you undocumented?' And he stood up and looked at my eyes and said, 'Yes.'"

That man was working on his master's degree from San Francisco State and working three jobs. Ms. Fadiman decided to chronicle his journey.

She found her third story when a friend introduced her to a man who had a law degree and was fighting a legal case to have the opportunity to practice law. The case ultimately went to the California Supreme Court, and he eventually won.

Viewers of the film get a first-hand view of what these families are going through and "actually see how hard they are working to bring their visions to life," Ms. Fadiman says. "I made it safe for them to tell their stories in the first person so those who watch the film can get to know these people as human beings, not as statistics."

The film will be shown at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 2, at East Side Prep center for the arts building at 1041 Myrtle St. in East Palo Alto.

Click here for more information. Although it says the reservation deadline is July 17, there may still be seats available.

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