A Documentary about El Paso and Juarez
Parallel Lines is currently being applied to film festivals in 2018.
The film was accepted into the Paris Art and Movie Awards in June 2018. Additionally, the video installation was presented at Prairie Center of the Arts in Peoria, Illinois. We have plans to bring it to different venues around the U.S. and will share updates on where the exhibition travels.
If you are interested in hosting a film screening or the video installation exhibition, please contact Allison Walsh at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Three Simple Words: What Divides Us, Sixty Inches from the Center
Parallel Lines, Paris Art and Movie Awards
Bridging the Border, Bradley University
Synopsis of Parallel Lines
Written by Director Allison Walsh and Producer Melanie Walsh
In 2016, Donald Trump was elected president. Three days later, painter and first-time filmmaker Allison Walsh launched a Kickstarter for a documentary project about one of the most persistent and controversial topics of the presidential campaign: the U.S.-Mexico border.
Born, raised, and educated in the Midwest, Walsh had listened to many conversations about the U.S.-Mexico border by people, like herself, who had never been to the border before. So Walsh headed south to seek the perspectives of those who actually lived and worked there, hoping to share their perspectives with her Midwestern communities back home.
The resulting documentary, Parallel Lines, focuses on the stories of Olga Perez, a formerly undocumented maid, and Chuck Foss, a former U.S. border patrol agent, who respectively live in the border towns of Juarez, Mexico, and El Paso, Texas, and whose occupational histories would seem to put them at odds. But the stories Olga and Chuck share reveal a much more complex relationship between those who police the border and those who cross it, which also includes compassion, respect, and a shared daily existence.
Drawing from her fine arts background, Walsh interweaves poetic visual parables between these interviews, the most prominent of which is a woman, dressed in white, who walks along the dry riverbed of the Rio Grande, the natural border between the U.S. and Mexico. These visual parables--as well as other striking, abstract images of the desert landscape and the border fences--open up space for contemplation and complexity within a conversation that is often reductive and highly polarized. The documentary seeks to draw out parallels between the stories of Olga and Chuck, the cities of Juarez and El Paso, and the fates of Mexico and the United States, most crucially, the space where they come together.
Additionally, this multimedia exhibition contains photographs by Alexis Carballido. Carballido and Walsh took a second trip to the border to document Halloween and Día de los Muertos in 2017. The trip resulted in two videos that celebrate the blended culture at the border. Julio-César Chávez was incredibly helpful in guiding Walsh and Carballido through cemeteries in Juarez and helping interview in Spanish.