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IDFA 2023 The Border Crossed Us 1

The Border Crossed Us

Loretta van der Horst / NL, 2023 / 72 min.

In the border town of La Joya, Texas, even the municipal police must assist in border enforcement. The cracks in the system slowly become apparent as three police officers deal with the implications of having to enforce the border at all costs.

poster IDFA 2023

While a big white surveillance blimp constantly hovers over the small border town of La Joya, Texas, local police officers patrol the neighborhood looking for human smugglers. The region is littered with traces of people who have attempted to get into the US by crossing the Rio Grande. But rather than arresting the immigrants, the officers are gathering intelligence on the smugglers and smuggling bosses tied to Mexican cartels.

With a visual style that alternates between intimate verité moments, meditative reflection and suspenseful sequences, the film tells the story of Chief Ramon Gonzalez, detective Manuel Casas and officer Mayra Garza, as they navigate the complexities of their existence on the border. As irony would have it, the area they are patrolling was once Mexican national territory.

Slowly the mutual dependence between police and smuggler reveals a system stuck in a never-ending cycle, with the immigrant dangerously caught in between. Meanwhile, the human cost of border enforcement starts taking a personal toll on the protagonists.

This is part of



Loretta van der Horst

Production year





72 min.


Spanish, English





Part of

IDFA 2023

Documentary lovers, keep 9 through 19 November free in your calendar. The International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam presents its 36th edition in cinemas throughout Amsterdam, including several special programmes in Eye.

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IDFA 2023 The Border Crossed Us 2
IDFA 2023 The Border Crossed Us 3
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