THE BOOK OF THE BORDER   U.S.A./Mexico, 2009   30 mins

written, produced and directed by  andres torres-vives

produced by enrique herrera, xochitl dorsey, laura irene arvisu

associate producer  karina garcia pardo

director of photography  paul de lumen

art director  tania candiani


The Book of the Border is a narrative, short film about the end of a family. A seemingly normal day in the life of a father, mother and daughter, split by the U.S./Mexico border, becomes the last one they will have as a family.

Filmed at the San Diego/Tijuana border, the bilingual film follows Juan, Maria and their daughter Lucia. Juan is an undocumented construction worker building San Diego’s suburbs. He is good at what he does, works hard and follows the rules. He shares a cheap apartment to save money for his family, while going to night school to learn English. He has lived without his wife Maria and daughter for 4 years. Maria and Lucia live in Tijuana, unable to cross into the United States. Maria is a bright young woman who had a carefree life until the unexpected birth of her daughter. She now works in a sewing factory and tries to manage a life for her and Lucia. She dreams of her past freedoms and of becoming an artist. Ten-year old Lucia has grown up quickly, taking care of herself, and sometimes her mother. She has been afflicted by a childhood pulmonary disorder since birth.

The screenplay for The Book of the Border was written during a Fulbright Fellowship in Filmmaking by Andres Torres-Vives in Mexico City. The film was awarded McNamara Foundation, and Edie and Lew Wasserman production grants, the Jack Nicholson Distinguished Prize in Directing, the Antonio David Blanco Fellowship and nominated “Best Theatrical Short” at the Imagen Awards