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Columbus Sanctuary Short at Tribeca Film Festival

Hope Madden Hope Madden Columbus Sanctuary Short at Tribeca Film FestivalEdith Espinal
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“All we need is one case.”

A timely look at tenacity, self-sacrifice and the power of community, Chris Temple and Zach Ingrasci’s documentary short The Undocumented Lawyer brings Columbus activism to the Tribeca Film Festival. This year’s program screens virtually through April 26.

California attorney Lizbeth Mateo is the subject of the film, an organizer and immigration lawyer who believes that, with that one victory, she can begin building win after win. She sees each individual victory as a step toward real and lasting change for those like herself, her parents, and Columbus resident Edith Espinal, who all live in the States without documentation.

Since 2017, Espinal has been in sanctuary at the Columbus Mennonite Church to avoid deportation. She fled cartel violence in Mexico decades ago and has lived, worked and raised her family in Columbus for more than 20 years.

“I want to fight for people like myself, people like my family,” Mateo tells the filmmakers. “I want to show this community that even if you’re undocumented, you can fight back.”

Ingrasci and Temple have made a career of focusing on humanitarian and socio-political themes, often shedding light on the plight of immigrants. The Undocumented Lawyer is in contention in Tribeca’s Choose Your Battles block of documentary shorts about “politics, perseverance and purses.”

Read more from Hope at MADDWOLF and listen to her weekly movie review podcast, THE SCREENING ROOM.

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