Past Meetup

Ash / The Undocumented (Full Frame)

This Meetup is past

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Ash (running time 10 mins): ASH (noun): The residue that remains after disintegration, or the acronym for Texas’s Austin State Hospital, once known as the State Lunatic Asylum. In this moody, experimental film, perfectly composed images of graffiti-riddled stairwells, rippled windowpanes, and crumbling plaster walls make the hospital’s abandoned wing seem frozen in time. However, subtle movements suggest that vestiges of life linger in the building’s decaying spaces: shadows dance across the peeling paint and dusty ceiling fans turn in the breeze. These rooms, now vacant, are haunted by the memories of the patients who once inhabited them. Their stories materialize via an eerily impersonal recitation of doctors’ logs—in conjuring up the remnants of lives burned by illness and clinical indifference, this arresting film transforms the 19th-century building into a ghostly memorial to the souls once locked, lost, and forgotten within its walls.

The Undocumented (running time 91 mins) is an unblinking, visceral tribute to immigrants who have lost their lives crossing the U.S.-Mexico border in Arizona. The film shows them—abandoned and lifeless—as evidence of a broken system. Many individuals are left to pick up the pieces. Some of them search for, rescue, and provide water and medical care for people who managed to survive under an unforgiving sun. For the unlucky, medical examiners painstakingly try to identify their remains in a morgue crowded with other victims of the Sonora desert. The audience shares in both the revelation and also the finality of a match between a dead migrant and his photograph. Empathetic advocates share the sad news with families in Mexico and help reunite the remains with their loved ones. With sensitivity to the humanity of the anonymous dead, Marco Williams explores the reasons for attempting a border crossing, documents the search for a name, and reveals the impact of a death on the families left behind.

This film block starts at 4:10 pm. I’m posting meetup times 30 minutes prior to film start as there will be lines, etc. This film is part of the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival (, running that weekend from Thursday through Sunday. Individual tickets are $15.00 and can be purchased in advance beginning Mon Mar 25 at 11:00 am: https://store.fullfra... (

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