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Tribeca 2020: “Gets Good Light” (2020) ★★★★


There is no need to be an undocumented immigrant to realize how difficult it is to live in constant fear of being caught by immigration officers. One fine day you go out for work only to find yourself being deported by the authority. Yes, despite the only guilt being having no legal papers. Other than that, what if everything done by that individual was in good conscience? Working hard, looking after the loved ones and hoping that someday things may get better. And when it does, what will happen next?

Manny and Elena are raising a daughter in the United States. Andrell hosts a fancy alluring open house. All the well-dressed guests, with nothing to worry about, have no idea that the place where they’re enjoying drinks and having a great time with other guests is a refuge for the family that has no legal documentation. Manny and Elena have a lot to be concerned about but Andrell, as a good citizen, allows the man to escape the ICE officers.

Written by Daniel Sole and directed by Alejandra Parody, “Gets Good Light” captures the most genuine and moving side of an individual who is labeled as undocumented. Manny is great at work, is loved by his colleagues, and did not hesitate to offer his dinner to Andrell saying, “You eat, I will be full”. The man did that not because of any hidden expectation but because that is who Manny was – a kind-hearted individual that deserves to have a place called home.

The film does not agitate nor advocates for refugees or stateless citizens. It just emphasizes the part of their characteristics that are often being overlooked by immigration officers when their judgment is made based on bias belief rather than facts. You may ask what facts does “Gets Good Light” offer to help form such a strong opinion? In reality, it does not and does not have to.

By watching Manny, Elena, and their child, it is enough to recognize in them a peaceful soul that hardly would take a gun to shoot someone down. Neither Manny nor Elena. They are not spoiled by a good and privileged life. Not them. This is why as we get to know Andrell, we admire him for what he does, and never judge him when he does what’s needed to be done as soon as he sees ICE officers trying to enter his premises.

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