Andrés Cediel is a documentary filmmaker and professor of visual journalism at the UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism.
Maynor Alvarado, Chelsea Rendon, Vik Sahay, Juan Gabriel Pareja,
The National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NIYA) innovatively worked to stop the growing tide of ICE deportations of undocumented immigrants during the Obama era. This experimental hybrid film intertwines a documentary form with staged reenactments to detail one of NIYA’s audacious actions: two Dreamers purposefully turn themselves in to the Border Patrol and are taken to a for-profit detention center in Florida. With support from NIYA staff on the outside with a deep understanding of immigration law, they work to use the system to free detainees. For Variety’s Peter Debruge, The Infiltrators is “an important tool in reframing the conversation” on the treatment of undocumented immigrants, while for IndieWire’s Eric Kohn the story is “the first installment in a troubling franchise that’s only just getting started.” Matt Fagerholm notes that “watching Ibarra and Rivera’s film during this period of pandemic is especially harrowing,” as detainees are testing positive for COVID-19.