Free Admission! This screening will take place at The Global Justice Center

Who is Dayani Cristal?


Part of The Loft Cinema’s Social Justice Summer, a FREE weekly series pairing films exploring important issues with talkbacks led by community experts. Wednesday nights in June and July (kicking off on May 31st) at 7:30pm. All screenings will take place at The Global Justice Center, 225 E. 26th Street, Tucson, AZ, 85713.

Panelist: Robin Reineke, PhD, co-founder and Executive Director of the Colibri Center for Human Rights

The body of an unidentified immigrant is found in Arizona’s Sonoran Desert – the deadliest crossing point from Mexico into the United States. His body bears the tattoo “Dayani Cristal,” the solitary clue to his identity. In an attempt to retrace his path and discover his story, director Marc Silver and producer Gael Garcia Bernal embed themselves among migrant travelers on their own mission to cross the border, providing rare insight into the human stories which are so often ignored in the immigration debate. The startling hybrid documentary Who is Dayani Cristal? looks at the immigration issue from the most basic human vantage point.

“With its compellingly multi-faceted approach, its earnest compassion and a celebrity presence in the form of the actor Gael García Bernal, the documentary could be enlisted in the perennial battle over immigration law.” – Nicolas Rapold, New York Times

Silver follows a team of forensic anthropologists from the Arizona Medical Examiner’s office as they analyze the remains of the unknown immigrant found in the desert. Silver cuts between the anthropologists as they slowly and painstakingly piece together the man’s identity, and Bernal as a migrant on the arduous journey by train and on foot through Latin America and all the way to the southern US border and the possibility of a new life. Unfolding like a thrilling crime drama, the film builds to an emotionally devastating climax. Who Is Dayani Cristal? tells the story of one migrant who found himself in that deadly stretch of desert known as “the corridor of death” and how one life becomes testimony to the tragic results of the US war on immigration. (Dir. by Marc Silver, 2013, Mexico/USA, in English and Spanish with subtitles, 85 mins., Not Rated)

Robin Reineke, PhD, is the co-founder and Executive Director of the Colibri Center for Human Rights, a family advocacy organization working to end death and suffering on the US-Mexico border by partnering with families of the dead & the missing. Dr. Reineke co-founded Colibrí building on nearly a decade of work to support migrants’ human rights through forensic science, anthropology, and advocacy. From Seattle, Washington, she received a BA in anthropology from Bryn Mawr College, and a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Arizona. Her work has been featured in the BBC, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, The Economist, The Nation, and the documentary film, Who Is Dayani Cristal? She was awarded the Institute for Policy Studies’ Letelier-Moffitt Human Rights Award, Echoing Green’s Global Fellowship, and was honored as one of Tucson’s “40 Under 40” by the Tucson Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.