Broken Land Switzerland 2014 – 75min.
During the past decades, the immense border that separates the United States and Mexico has changed the daily lives of the local inhabitants and the law enforcement officers charged with securing it, in addition to changing the wide desert expanse that is now permanently under surveillance. There, a community of Americans live in fear, anger and distress in the shadow of a wall erected to protect them from other human beings.
By choosing not to choose, directors Luc Peter and Stéphanie Barbey offer the most interesting thing about a subject that is so complex and controversial: a variety of faces, roles and points of view. From the redneck persuaded that America is the best nation in the world and therefore the last hope for the universe, to the committed woman who offers water and food to people crossing the border, Broken Land is striking in its neutral look at the American side. But this human panorama, illustrated by an investigation of the different facets of the phenomenon (farmers, members of the border patrol and extremist militias, as well as local citizens), condemns the documentary to never being more than a journalistic report. It knocks a conspiracy theory that claims the government is letting in cheap labor on purpose together with far-away memories of an era when everyone lived in harmony without need for a border. Broken Land gets lost in the middle, because it is not armed well enough to be a documentary on par with a subject so passionate and important.