While the poor conditions for migrants continue at the U.S.-Mexico border under the new administration, it’s essential that we shed light on the true stories of the border crisis. The upcoming documentary Split At The Root is one of those stories and its set to play in the SXSW festival in Austin in March. It was announced earlier this week that actresses Rosario Dawson (The Mandalorian, Briarpatch, Weird City) and Lana Parrilla (Once Upon A Time, Why Women Kill) are joining the team as executive producers, Deadline reported.
Directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton, Split At The Root follows a Guatemalan mother and her children who are separated at the border under former President Trump’s “zero-tolerance” policy. A Facebook post sharing the story goes viral and balloons into the Immigrant Families Together response group helmed by other mothers across the country. Together, against all odds and government bureaucracy, the movement reunites families separated at the border, providing closure, comfort, and hope.
Parrilla, who is of Puerto Rican descent, took to Instagram to share the news, captioning her post, “I’m very excited to be a part of such an important project. The immigration status in the US is a systemic issue and unfortunately families are still being separated. If this subject matter interests you, whether you understand it or not, this documentary will not only educate but will shine a light on what is really taking place in our country.”
“When it comes to immigration policy in this country, it is more than just a political crisis—we’re suffering a crisis of our very humanity,” Dawson said, according to Deadline. “And one way to change the debate in Washington is by changing the language we use and the stories we produce such as Split At The Root, opening the lens wider so people get the full picture. By having those who have come to the US to seek asylum front-and-center in this film and showing how every person can make a true difference to create change is why I wanted to join the producing team of this film.”
The actress of Afro-Cuban and Puerto Rican descent has produced similar projects including This Is Not A War Story and The Need To Grow, both of which have received critical acclaim and numerous awards and nominations. Earlier this month, it was confirmed that Dawson would be starring in the upcoming graphic novel La Borinqueña, set to be published this April, which will spotlight climate change and clean energy initiatives in Puerto Rico. Proceeds from sales will also provide grants to several non-profits throughout the island.
“What I loved about it was the creativity,” Dawson previously said during an IG Live discussing the book. “It is going, ‘you know, there are so many people in the comic space that would really like to participate, and they are never asked.”
Parilla currently stars as Rita Castillo in the anthology TV series Why Women Kill, which was renewed for a third season by Paramount+ in December 2021. She’s also become known for her iconic role as the Evil Queen in ABC’s hit fairytale-inspired series Once Upon A Time.
Split At The Root will premiere on SXSW this March.