Five Years North
Free to Amherst Cinema Members!
Director Zach Ingrasci joins us via Zoom for a Q&A after the screening.
Five Years North is the coming-of-age story of 16-year-old Luis, an undocumented Guatemalan boy who just arrived alone in New York City, set against the experience of Judy, a veteran ICE officer and first-generation Cuban immigrant.
Luis has come to the U.S. to make money for his family back home, all of whom are relying on him for their very survival. Getting by as a delivery boy and a cook, Luis faces all of the obstacles that come with being an undocumented worker, as well as the added burdens of being a child in a new country coping without his parents. Luis suffers anxiety and homesickness, struggles with working full-time while complying with mandated participation in the NYC school system, and feels overburdened by social workers tasked with monitoring his every move.
But above all, Luis lives in constant fear of being caught by ICE.
Judy patrols Luis’ Brooklyn neighborhood, and must weigh the human cost of her work at ICE against the uncertain future her family would face without her paycheck. The film is intimate and observational—following Luis, Judy, and Luis’ family back in Guatemala for more than three years to provide a fresh and valuable entry point to understanding America’s immigration system and its human cost.