Directed by: Krista Schlyer
Released: 2019 (educational)
Year of Production: 2018
Running Time: 57 min
Language: English & Spanish
Subtitle Options: English Closed Captions
Subjects: Environmental Studies, North American Studies
Will the border wall strike a fatal blow to one of the richest natural and cultural regions in North America?
Ay Mariposa tells a story of La Mariposa, Zulema, and Marianna–three characters in the Lower Rio Grande Valley of Texas whose lives are upended by plans to build a US-Mexico border wall. As the director of the National Butterfly Center, Marianna Trevino Wright has become a leader of wall resistance in the Valley, a position that has resulted in violent threats from pro-wall factions and an emotional odyssey as she tries to navigate the ever-shifting sands of border policy. Zulema Hernandez, a life-long migrant worker, immigrant and great grandmother, has been a dedicated advocate for all migrants, both wild and human-kind. Meanwhile the butterfly, La Mariposa, fights its own daily battle for survival in a landscape where more than 95 percent of its habitat is long gone and much of what remains lies directly in the path of the wall.
The film draws a portrait of Zulema, la Mariposa, and Marianna’s lives and conveys their struggles in the lengthening shadow of a border wall, delving into the motivations that underlie their opposition and actions, and the surprising ties that bind them all together.
Nearly 700 miles of wall and other border barriers were constructed under the administrations of George W. Bush and Barack Obama. The completion of the border wall under the Trump administration would seal the fate of some of the most endangered animals in North America, and fundamentally alter national parks, wilderness, wildlife refuges and the existence of every borderlands resident.
This film tells a microcosmic tale of all that is being lost in the rush to build border barriers along the 2,000-mile meeting place of the United States and Mexico.
World Premiere at DOCLANDS Film Festival 2019
“An important film and call to action.” – Julia Butterfly Hill
“This movie will change the way you think about the border” –Daniel Millis, Sierra Club Borderlands Team
About the filmmaker
For more than a decade, Krista’s work has focused heavily on documenting the US-Mexico borderlands and the changes brought about by US border and immigration policy. Her book about the borderlands titled Continental Divide: Wildlife, People and the Border Wall, received national recognition with the National Outdoor Book Award for 2013 and the “Best of the Best” of university presses honor from the American Library Association. A senior fellow of the International League of Conservation Photographers, her stories have appeared in a wide array of outlets including Orion, BBC, National Wildlife and The Nature Conservancy. She is a past winner of the Ansel Adams Award for Conservation Photography and Vision Award from the North American Nature Photographers Association.
Host a Screening and Book the Filmmaker at your Event