DER Documentary

Irma Caceres: The Goddess of Truth


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by Irma Cáceres, Julie Criniére & Chih-lan Lu
color, 22 min, 1999



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Teenage years are fraught with problems, tension and uncontrollable emotions. For an adolescent to also be an immigrant- in other words an outsider- the problem is even more complex. Yet, there are very few resources at hand to help teachers and school administrators deal with this issue in the classroom. This video provides a vehicle for engaging students in classroom discussions about what it means to be "different" and shows us the unique contributions that can be made by everyone when given the opportunity. It also demonstrates the practical use and positive results of using media as teaching tool.

"Through this video, I want that everybody and the whole world gets to know me for who I am, a good person, and a good human being. My project is about my life, my problems, for me it's a total release... and my big wish is to show my life on the Big Screen.".

Irma is a young student from Honduras who, in addition to confronting the challenges of being an immigrant, also has learning and emotional disabilities that isolate her in high school. She was in an ESL (English as a Second Language) program when she met two young documentary filmmakers (Julie Criniere and Chih-Lan Lu) who came to help one of her teachers develop a documentary video curriculum. Recognizing the opportunity they presented, in the course of one semester's work, Irma used the video as an opportunity to learn about herself and communicate with the outside world.

The documentary flows seamlessly between the layers of Irma's fantasy realm and the reality of her life. The making of the video was a process of self-discovery through which emerges the powerful voice of a young woman who wants to transform the world she lives in through the poetic use of the medium of film.

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