July 2, 2019  (Web Review)

Marcos Doesn’t Live Here Anymore

(2019) 120 min. DVD: $24.99 ($54.99 w/PPR). PBS Video (www.teacher.shop.pbs.org). SDH captioned. ISBN: 978-1-5317-0967-9.

Reviewer rating: 3.5/4

Originally airing on PBS’s Frontline series, filmmaker David Sutherland’s documentary takes an up close and personal look at the hot-button issue of illegal immigration, presenting an intimate portrait of Cleveland-area wife—and Marine Corps veteran—Elizabeth Perez as she struggles to bring her undocumented Mexican husband Marcos, father of her two children, home after a decade-old arrest record unexpectedly resurfaces and gets him summarily deported. Despite the northeastern Ohio Hispanic community and a crusading lawyer rallying on her side, Elizabeth’s petition to allow Marcos to return to the U.S.—supposedly a sure thing—is rejected, repeatedly. While the Kafkaesque maze of immigration bureaucracy and unsympathetic officialdom is maddening and gripping all by itself (viewers might note that much of the ordeal takes place during the Obama presidency, rather than Trump’s), viewers familiar with Sutherland’s past work (including The Farmer’s Wife [VL-5/99] and Kind Hearted Woman [VL-9/13]) will find this to be another searing look at a memorably strong-willed female fighting doggedly for her family. Highly recommended. Aud: C, P. (C. Cassady)