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International Documentary Association (Los Angeles, CA 90010-2207)
Trisha Ziff (Project Director: August 2019 to present)
Return to Oaxacalifornia

Production of a ninety-minute film that uses the lens of three generations of the same family to explore ideas of what is lost and gained through immigration and assimilation.

Return to Oaxacalifornia tells the story of the Mejia family from Oaxaca who emigrated to the U.S. 40 years ago as an economic necessity, fleeing drought and economic hardship. A post-NAFTA tale, a sequel of sorts: our film brings together material shot 25 years ago for the original film, Oaxacalifornia, with material we are currently producing. We meet the family in Fresno, C.A. and discover the changes in their lives. The new generation, seven grandchildren only know life in the U.S. and speak no Spanish. Mexico for them is imagined, or experienced through photographs, traditions, food, rituals. In our first film Leo and Mercedes, now grandparents spoke of retiring to Oaxaca but have spent more of their lives living in the U.S. The continuum of our film provides a unique insight into the process of assimilation, what remains important and what is lost, what changes. Three generations, three ways of seeing. They visit Mexico together as a family, is it how they imagined? Does it reson

[Grant products][Media coverage]

Project fields:
Anthropology; Communications; Communications; Hispanic American Studies

Media Projects Production

Public Programs

$313,793 (approved)
$313,793 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2020 – 12/31/2021