As part of the Community Engagement through Film class, students Jessica Halpern and Ryan Josephson worked with community partner Mario Garcia Sierra of Centro Hispano, matching the issues and stories of the organization’s community – such as immigration, labor, and education – to the issues and stories in several films by Alex Rivera.

Together they hosted a special pre-screening event for Tales from Planet Earth at Centro Hispano to show Alex Rivera’s Papapapá along with a series of shorts made by youth members of Centro Hispano. The event included good food, music, and conversation.

Alex’s films are quirky at times; though they explore issues in a very serious way. A thread throughout much of his work includes the juxtaposition of the free movement of products to the restricted movement of people –– deepening the immigration discussion layer by layer. As part of the discussion following the screening Alex explained, “We don’t want to just be workers. We want to have full participation.”

You can hear more from Alex, the student organizers, and Mario in the video above.

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