New Film on Immigrant Health Justice Movement Available from Third World Newsreel

COVER/AGE documentary film
COVER/AGE cover

Third World Newsreel is pleased to announce the release of Set Hernandez Rongkilyo’s documentary and toolkit COVER/AGE about the immigrant health justice movement. COVER/AGE examines the lack of healthcare access for undocumented immigrants in California and how two undocumented individuals are advocating to fight this exclusion.

One protagonist is Emma, an elderly Pilipina caregiver who has spent over a decade providing care for others. Over the course of the film, we see Emma get ready early in the morning to care for an elderly patient who is not much older than her. Ironically, while Emma provided care to insured, ailing patients, she was battling both illness and the U.S. health system, which excluded her simply because of her immigration status. Emma’s story highlights how undocumented domestic workers are integrated into the healthcare industry. Still, they don’t have access to the care they deserve to maintain their own wellness.

The other protagonist is Héctor (they/them), one of the young adult founders of the immigrant health movement in California. Through the film, we learn of their important activism and organizing, from mobilizing around healthcare with legislators in the state capitol to training other undocumented immigrants to advocate for themselves. While Héctor is engaged in the realm of legislative transformation, their journey unveils a deeper analysis of what health justice means, that is, that beyond the need to visit the doctor’s office, access to wellness for all communities must include holistic healing that recognizes traumas communities have accrued from their lived experiences.

COVER/AGE trailer

As Emma and Héctor navigate the complex health policy system, critical gaps in a health system that excludes undocumented migrants reveal the profound and harmful impact on the community. At the same time, steadfast organizing by community leaders and advocates underscores the resilience of immigrants in the face of these challenges. As the conversation around universal healthcare continues to gain momentum on the national stage, this film highlights the urgency of expanding healthcare access to undocumented people by centering on the unwavering voices of immigrant health justice leaders.

The film includes a Community Screening & Discussion Toolkit with the basics steps to hosting a screening, as well as ways to engage your attendees in a conversation around healthcare access for all, regardless of immigration status and age. View the toolkit here: https://twn.org/catalog/guides/cover-age-toolkit.pdf

For more information about the immigrant health justice movement and how to host a public screening, visit twn.org/film.aspx?rec=1538.

Set Hernandez Rongkilyo

Set Hernandez Rongkilyo is an undocumented immigrant filmmaker and community organizer whose roots come from Bicol, Philippines. Set envisions a filmmaking landscape that centers on equity and abundance, where all artists have the resources to thrive using the unique skill sets they embody. Set’s short films have been televised, featured, and awarded in film festivals across the U.S. Since 2010, Set has been organizing around migrant justice issues from education equity to deportation defense. Along with Rahi Hasan, they are the co-founder of the Undocumented Filmmakers Collective, which advances equity for undocumented immigrants in the film industry. For speaking engagements, contact sethr.mail@gmail.com.

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Third World Newsreel

Third World Newsreel

Third World Newsreel is a media arts organization that fosters independent, social justice BIPOC films.