There is no way that anyone could argue that in this point in time that the United States is a welcoming place for immigrants. Which is strange as it is a country, much like Canada, in which the foundation is immigrants. Director Alejandra Parody’s, who is from Columbia, latest film attempts to tackle that issue. It is a complex one. The fact that this is a 16 minute short film makes it an even bigger ask.
Despite the fact that this is a short film, Parody has managed to bring on board plenty of talent. Her case is made up of known actors like Jessica Pimental and Catherine Curtin of Orange is the New Black, Edmond Cofie from Thoughts of a Colored Man and Cedric Leiba Jr. of High Maintenance. This is probably because of the subject matter, but also because of Parody’s reputation as an emerging director. After her NYU thesis film, Rosa, garnered attention by being awarded Best Student Film at the American Pavillion Emerging Filmmaker Showcase at The Cannes Film Festival, heads (mostly eyes) have been turned in her direction.
The story here is about a luxury condo which sees itself being shown off during a daytime open house as a desirable place to live. The fact that rich people are looking at it confirms that. At night it becomes something very different. Not that it is not reputable. Rather it is shelter for a family of refugees who are being pursued by immigration officials.
Shot quickly on a reputed budget of a mere $30,000, there is nothing cheap or second rate about Gets Good Light. It really has its finger on the pulse of what it means to be undocumented in the U.S. at present time. Stories like this one are necessary and deserve to find an audience. More films with socio-political justice slants need to be made. Films that actually mean and say something.
Despite the fact that it seems like the right wing and white people are clinging by whatever means necessary to hold onto power, it is nice to see that in the arts there is still place for diversity. For a different look and perspective. Films like this give me hope. Hope that the medium will remain an important voice in the documentation of the human condition. All humans, not just those of white males.