The documentary I’m Leaving Now (Ya me voy), a searing and intimate portrait of one undocumented worker on the margins, directed by Lindsey Cordero and Armando Croda, will open on Friday, September 6 at the Maysles Cinema in New York, followed by other cities.
The documentary was a favorite at Hot Docs and DOC NYC and winner of the Best Mexican Film Award at DocsMX along with a Special Mention at the Morelia Film Festival for Best Documentary.
A modern-day odyssey, I’m Leaving Now follows Felipe – a charismatic, undocumented Mexican immigrant who has reached a crossroads: after 16 years in Brooklyn, working three low-paying jobs and sending the bulk of his earnings to his wife and children in Mexico, he’s decided to return home to the family he hasn’t seen in almost two decades. But when he informs them of his plans, he discovers that they’ve squandered the money, are deeply in debt and don’t want him to return. They need him to stay in the U.S. and continue to earn.
Shot over two years in the heart of Brooklyn’s immigrant community, I’m Leaving Now brings a warm humanity to one of the most pressing political issues of our time, without sentimentalizing or trivializing its protagonist. The film updates the traditional migration tale—at a time when Mexican net migration has fallen to zero, and more Americans are migrating to Mexico, than the other way around—and subtly challenges our ideas of the American dream through the character of Felipe, a man looking for that dream back home.
In allowing the rhythms, emotions and sounds of Felipe’s day-to-day life to drive the story, Cordero and Croda open an impressionistic, cinematic window onto a life that might otherwise remain unseen.