Friday, October 30, 2020 1:30 PM to 3:00 PM
"Shot on a cross-country train trip from Los Angeles to New York, Miko Revereza’s debut feature No Data Plan turns a familiar cinematic conceit into a conduit for personal reflection. Living in the U.S. illegally for over twenty years, the Filipino-born Revereza frames the three-day journey as a microcosm of the immigrant experience—its dangers, practicalities, and realities.
"As the film begins, Revereza is boarding an Amtrak at Los Angeles’s Union Station, his small digital camera capturing the mass of bodies as they funnel into the various compartments. Through subtitles, he speaks of his mother and how they communicate under threat of government surveillance: she has two phones, one for routine conversations (an “Obama phone”) and one with no data plan, which they use to speak about immigration-related issues.
"Proceeding to tell of his mother’s affair with a younger man (a thread that structures and runs throughout the film), he reflects matter-of-factly on his family life and the strange dynamic these circumstances have prompted. In a diary-like manner reminiscent of Chantal Akerman’s late digital films, Revereza shoots passing landscapes and incidental details with equal curiosity, intuitively capturing the rhythms and longueurs of long-distance train travel, as well as the anxieties of anonymous immigrants—anxieties conveyed in overheard phone calls, encounters with ticket takers, and eventually, the presence of Border Patrol officers. Quiet, contemplative, and legitimately brave, No Data Plan is that rarest of things: a personal film with real world consequences" (Jordan Cronk, Film Comment 2019).
Miko Revereza is the winner of the 2021 Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Filmmaking.
“How does an undocumented documentary filmmaker document themselves?” That’s a question posed by Miko Revereza, who doesn’t conceal his status as an undocumented alien; it’s right there in the official bio he provided to the Rotterdam Film Festival, where his short Disintegration 93—96 played last year: “Moving from Manila, he has lived illegally in the United States for many years.” His father left the Philippines in 1990, when Miko was two; he and his mother came over in 1993. Revereza has been here ever since.
See the film website here.
See an interview with Miko Revereza in Film Comment.
See the trailer here:
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For more information:
Cynthia Fuchs firstname.lastname@example.org, Director, Visiting Filmmakers Series at Mason; Interim Director, Film at Mason