Film and TV

Q&A with the Filmmakers of Arizona Immigration Debate Documentary Two Americans

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Screening 7:00 p.m. this Monday at the Phoenix Center for the Arts' Third Street TheaterTwo Americans combines intimate portraits of Arpaio and Figueroa to immerse viewers in opposing sides of the Arizona immigration debate, turning headlines and soundbytes into families and stories. 

Amidst skillful editing that adds layer after complex layer - punctuated by a tense musical score - these two figures ground the viewer in a debate that can otherwise feel chaotically contentious. 

In everyday moments, Arpaio reminds his wife, Ava, to tell her parents that he'll be on with Anderson Cooper at both 9 and 11 p.m. their time, while Figueroa washes a car to raise money following her parents' arrest, speaking for the first time that we've seen her with a child's brightness rather than an adult's steady resolve.

"At the end of the day, the film offers something for everyone; whether you are a supporter of the sheriff or not, you'll come away feeling closer to these two very different worlds," says filmmaker Valeria Fernandez. They're worlds that Fernandez and fellow filmmaker Dan De Vivo know well: Fernandez is an award-winning journalist who has reported on the state's immigration debate for 10 years, while De Vivo's 2006 documentary Crossing Arizona was an official selection at Sundance.

Fernandez and De Vivo, who spent three years shooting the documentary, answer questions about Two Americans:

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Amanda Kehrberg
Contact: Amanda Kehrberg