Premiered on KQED's "Truly CA" Series
Alejandra Matias and Yoselina Bazan are two friends and DREAMers from Oakland, California. Given cameras to self-document their personal experiences, the two share their various hopes and fears over a period of six months, reimagining what it means to be a teenage girl in the United States. Among the everyday issues of balancing a school, home, and work life, they also grapple with the uncertainties surrounding their citizenship in the midst of legal challenges thrown at DACA recipients during the Trump presidency.
The film weaves together their personal home videos with interview and observational footage to captures their various struggles with an unknown future. Ale is balancing a four-day work week at a part-time job on top of her senior year of high school. Yose faces a lack of emotional support at home. As they open up to the camera, they also speak about putting up a tough front to protect themselves lest anyone take advantage of them.
Despite the fears over their legal status, they continue to be activists in their community as seen by their participation at a rally protesting the presence of ICE in their city. When asked about the future, they hopefully imagine one in which people get organized and continue to fight.
FILMMAKER'S STATEMENT: "When we started filming, I was immediately taken aback by their willingness to be so vulnerable and share such personal aspects of their lives — their struggles, fears, and dreams.
As a filmmaker, I am interested in leveraging the power of film to build solidarity and incite social change. Each of my past films incorporated a level of collaboration, something that is extremely important to my work. As I continue my career as a filmmaker, I have a continued interest in improving this collaborative practice between the protagonists of the film and myself, ensuring that the process of opening one's life to the filmmaking process is empowering and strengthening rather than extractive and exploitative.
I learned so much in the process of making this film and will carry this experience of working with Ale and Yose with me forever."
— Erin Semine Kökdil