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Anyone looking for a family member last heard from in Brooks County will eventually find their way to Eddie Canales, who runs the South Texas Human Rights Center. Eddie’s phone rings constantly with calls from families of those who have gone missing while circumventing the local immigration checkpoint. One day, the brother and sister-in-law of Homero Roman arrived to see Eddie. Omar and Michelle tell Eddie that from the age of five, Homero lived in Houston with his family, but after a traffic violation at age twenty-seven, he was deported. He tried to adjust to life in Mexico, a place he barely remembered, but eventually decided to return. He went missing in Brooks County.

Meanwhile, the family of Juan Maceda shows up at Eddie’s doorstep. Juan grew up in Guerrero, Mexico, with his mother. By the time young Juan graduated high school, his future was written: either join the criminal gangs or languish in poverty. Juan decided to join his father in the United States. He paid to join a group that would be smuggled across the border into Texas. He went missing in Brooks County.

Eddie helps the families look for their loved ones by engaging with Border Patrol agent Alex Jara and mounting an extensive search of the private ranches where many bodies are found. Together, they come upon clues to the mystery of what happened to their loved ones and confront the agonizing reality of life and death in Brooks County. (APRIL 17-18)

Director’s Statement: Lisa Molomot, Jeff Bemiss

Missing in Brooks County began as the story of one forensic scientist trying to identify migrants buried anonymously in Brooks County, Texas. But each time we returned to film in South Texas the story got bigger, as we realized the complexity and severity of the situation. Our goal became to convey the complexity of the situation we encountered. 

In order to build a portrait of everyday life in Falfurrias, TX, vérité footage is the foundation of Missing in Brooks County. As rendered through the stories of Homero Roman and Juan Maceda, our vision for the film is an immersive experience of an American town that has been caught in the middle of the life and death situation created by the militarization of the U.S./Mexico border. And just as we have learned so much while making this film, we hope viewers will look at immigration in a new way and begin to include the deceased and the missing in the national debate.

Selected Filmography: Lisa Molomot: The Cleaners, Soledad, School’s Out

Jeff Bemiss: The Book and the Rose, Coaching Colburn 

(There are a limited number of screenings available. Orders on first ordered first fulfilled basis.)

  • Year
  • Runtime
    80 minutes
  • Language
    English, Spanish
  • Country
    United States
  • Premiere
  • Director
    Lisa Molomot, Jeff Bemiss
  • Producer
    Lisa Molomot, Jeff Bemiss, Jacob Bricca, ACE
  • Executive Producer
    Abigail Disney, Gini Reticker, Steven Engel, Heidi Reavis, Stephanie Angelides, Jenna Helwig, Sally Jo Fifer, Lois Vossen
  • Cast
    Moises Zavala, Omar Roman, Michelle Chinos, Alex Jara, Eddie Canales, Kate Spradley, Michael Vickers
  • Cinematographer
    Lisa Molomot, Jeff Bemiss
  • Editor
    Jacob Bricca, ACE