Peabody Awards Jury
“It can be hard to see through the vitriol of the national debate surrounding the immigration crisis at the U.S. southern border, and it can be easy to gloss over the sheer scale of the human toll. With Independent Lens: Missing in Brooks County, Lisa Molomot and Jeff Bemiss successfully do both with clarity, empathy, and grace.”
Dupont-Columbia Awards Jury
"With human perspectives often missed in immigration coverage, this beautifully crafted documentary offered a portrait of an ongoing crisis on the U.S./Mexico border that has cost 20,000 lives since 1994."
University of Arizona | Dr. Bill Simmons, Director, Human Rights Practice Program
"Even though I have been working on the migrant death issue for 18 years, this film moved me more than anything I have seen. It captures the human element of the families, the crossers, law enforcement, ranchers, and the aid workers all together in a way that I had not seen before. This film is, in my mind, the definitive artwork on migrant deaths."
Yale University | Dr. Ángel A. Escamilla García, Department of Sociology
“Missing in Brooks County is a powerful and brutal testimony of the human tragedy near the U.S. border. This film walks us through the wide range of actors involved in this tragedy, placing families at the center, as they desperately seek to know their missing family’s fate. It is a crude reminder of the human toll that immigration enforcement has on undocumented migrants, and that a tragedy occurs every day along the southern U.S. border.”
Rice University | Dr. Molly Morgan, Department of Anthropology
“Teaching about the role of Forensic Anthropology in events when human rights have been abused is a key component of many Anthropology courses, but it is hard to find readings that capture the gravity of these difficult circumstances. Missing in Brooks County offers a powerful tool that allows students to learn straight from the words and experiences of those most directly impacted. This film conveys the complexity of the problems and the nature of the humanitarian crisis at the Mexico-U.S. border in a way that is both crushing and deeply beautiful.”
Texas State University | Dr. Kate Spradley, Biological Anthropologist
"The failure to properly investigate and identify the dead at our nation’s border is a culmination of systemic failures at multiple levels, creating a humanitarian crisis. Nothing can convey the reality of the situation in the same way as watching the new documentary Missing in Brooks County."
Arizona State University | Gabriella Soto, Honors Faculty
"Missing in Brooks County captures the feeling of a moment in a still unfolding history with gutting clarity. Focusing on the tragic circumstances in which migrants die in transit as well as the individuals responding to this slow-moving mass casualty event, it shows how all are essentially set up to fail because the systems in place are inadequate and the deaths never stop. This film is a call to action."
Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi | Dr. Sharon M. Derrick
"Molomot and Bemiss capture the very heart of the issues surrounding the plight of Hispanic men, women, and children striving for a new life in what they hope will be a safe, welcoming, and generous community in the U.S. Missing in Brooks County is heartbreaking in its honesty but also provides an uplifting message of understanding and a means to an important conversation. My students had never before heard this side of the story. That is why I invited Lisa Molomot and Jeff Bemiss to speak in my course."
The Boston Globe
"This is not the first documentary about the immigration crisis, but it’s one of the most nuanced and disturbing. The filmmakers tell the stories with restraint, emphasizing the injustices, cruelty, and suffering without needless, manipulative exaggeration. They shift deftly among their subjects and present them with empathy and understated irony, building a suspenseful multi-narrative that is part detective story, part family tragedy, part critique of a dysfunctional immigrant policy."
Time Magazine | Jasmine Aguilera
"The filmmakers explore why this region can be particularly deadly for migrants and the flaws in local, state and federal systems that make it hard for human remains to be identified."
Democracy Now! | Amy Goodman
"[A]n astounding, heartrending, heartbreaking film"
"Harrowing ... The entire documentary is brilliantly shot and depicts immigration as a much more complicated issue than some make it out to be."
"This moving documentary follows two families who are searching for their missing loved ones ... [A] heartbreaking look at a complex situation."