Friday, June 25, 2010

Filmmaker was in the right place at the right time for 9500 Liberty

Years before Arizona passed its draconian measure to broaden the power of police officers to detain suspected illegal aliens, officials in Prince William County, Virginia, thought it would be a nifty idea to adopt an ordinance requiring police officers to question anyone they had "probable cause" to suspect was an undocumented immigrant. The legislation polarized an already divided community, leading to unintended consequences – some local businesses saw their customer base decline when Hispanics, documented or otherwise, left the community – and triggering a grassroots pushback against the law. Korean-born, Houston-raised filmmaker Annabel Park was there at ground zero (along with her partner and co-director, Eric Byler) to cover the situation in 9500 Liberty, the acclaimed documentary opening today in Houston at the Angelika Film Center. Here is the Q&A I had with her for Houston Culture Map.

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