“Dreamers“ is the name given to young people without US identity papers who were brought to the USA by their parents as children – usually via the border with Mexico. It is estimated that more than two million “Dreamers“ in the USA lead a life in the shadows of society. They are illegal, “undocumented”. Carlos is one of them.
At the age of 9, he came to Chicago illegally from Mexico with his three brothers and his parents. He had the right to stay in the USA until he was 17. His status changed on his 18th birthday: in the eyes of the law, he has been in the USA illegally ever since. The American dream turned into a nightmare. The slightest mistake can lead to his deportation.
Directors Stephanie Barbey & Luc Peter accompanied Carlos and his family for more than two years and through them experienced what it means to live without legal status in the USA. The black and white cinematography by Nikolai von Graevenitz (German Camera Award 2022) was specially chosen to highlight these contrasts and contradictions and emphasise what it means to live in the shadow of the US legal system. They make us forget the glittering world of the American dream and convey hope for a better future, despite the harsh living conditions of the protagonists.
Based on a very personal story, the film addresses themes of more universal significance. This narrative is reinforced by the music of Louis Jucker (Swiss Music Awards 2021). He immerses us in powerful emotions through a poetic composition of music and images.
UCM.ONE will release the film by Stéphanie Barbey and Luc Peter on the NONFY Documentaries label in German cinemas from 8 February 2024.