Your Exclusive Access to The Weeping Season Website

July 4, 2018 1:23 am Published by Leave your thoughts


Versión en español.

A Story for Our Times

We have a sense, encapsulated in the saying “misery loves company,” that sharing our pain with others helps us overcome it. Being able to converse with those who have lived through similar distressing experiences helps us process our own. However, when our misery is not alone, it also means that others are going through the same kind of pain that forever marked us. It’s hard to endure, let alone love, such a situation. Over 2,000 children have been separated from their parents as they crossed the US/Mexico border this year due to a zero tolerance policy implemented by the Trump administration. Some were legally seeking asylum, others were trying to come to the US illegally. The legality of the parents’ actions is irrelevant to me because, as was argued by hundreds of thousands of protesters at over 700 rallies across the US on June 30, this is an issue of humanity, not law.

As someone who has spent decades processing the sudden separation from my father, I can only begin to imagine what these children—who find themselves taken from everyone they know and placed in detention centers as sponsor and foster homes are found for them—are feeling as they survive this barbaric treatment at the hands of the US government. For millennia, we have hidden behind laws in order to justify denying the basic humanity of those who are unlike us. American law once claimed that white citizens could own slaves and that they could do as they saw fit with their property. Seeing fellow humans as property, as illegals, as whatever label we want to give them, blinds us to the cruelty of our actions because we lose the ability to put ourselves in their shoes. Film, with its gift for placing us inside someone else’s experience, can help break down the walls between us and those we see as fundamentally different. It is our hope at Sabana Grande Productions that our projects, in particular The Weeping Season, which tells a story of family separation and its lingering aftermath, can help show that regardless of someone’s legal status or country of origin, they are human beings and deserve to be treated as such.

A Website Brimming With Secrets

Over the last ten months, Hannah Countryman, our interaction and visual designer, and I have been working on the website for The Weeping Season. We are giving community letter subscribers exclusive early access to it. When facing the task of creating a web home that fit the film’s rich, multigenerational story, we decided to build an experience for you that reveals key pieces of the story on each page. As you hover and click over the images, we take you on an intricate journey to discover the film and its characters. We welcome you to the world we’ve created for you!

Unearthed Photo of the Month

When Dad vanished, I developed a deep connection—bordering on obsession—with the photos of him that were scattered around my room. I am sure that at our various homes before my parents’ divorce, photos of my dad could be found everywhere. However, we had moved to the apartment where my mom still lives today after their separation, and Dad’s image understandably resided solely within the confines of my pink bedroom walls. I had stolen most of those photos from my mom’s albums, but there was one photo of Dad and I that had been professionally glued over a wooden frame with no glass protection. The frame gave it a particular sense of importance. Someone had deemed it worthy of the kind of temporary immortality we give to flimsy paper images when we strengthen them with a solid back and decorate our homes with them. I liked how similar our eyes looked and how genuine our happiness at being together seemed to be. I wondered about the tee-shirt design that my overalls are covering and found my dad’s comb-over mesmerizing.

The framed photo has followed me through every home and adventure I’ve had for over three decades. It studied abroad with me in Moscow and it spent two lyrical years living in France, where I unsuccessfully tried to turn Dad’s story into a novel. The photo’s pilgrimages can be seen in the cuts and scratches no wood could protect it from. They are seen in the reddish tone of our faces, as the blue was swallowed by the sun’s relentless embrace. While scanning photos for The Weeping Season, I found the original version of the photo, and I stared in fascination at the strange doppelgänger of the image that has been my constant companion all these years. It may be closer to the image captured so long ago, but it’s missing the affection and the history, the testament to a life together and to my love for the man represented in it.

Featured on the One Thought Podcast

It was a great honor to be featured on David Gardner’s One Thought Podcast. In this excellent podcast, David talks with one person per episode about their history and creative processes. We discussed how being a culturally-hybrid person has affected my understanding of the world, what I learned from being a student of the brilliant late writer Bobbie Louise Hawkins, my transition from creative writer to filmmaker, and my films Teta and The Weeping Season. I promise it will make your commute much shorter!

Teta is Selected for its 20th Festival

Our short film Teta was just selected for its 20th film festival, the iChill Manila International Film Festival in the Philippines. It was also nominated for Best Documentary at that festival. We also screened at our first film series, From the Vault Presents, in Manchester England. Stay tuned for our official online release of Teta.


As we continue our battle to end the separation of parents and children crossing the border into the United States, we invite you to combine #FilmsForAKinderWorld and #FamiliesBelongTogether on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to discuss films, TV, and web series that help us understand the value of children’s relationships with their parents.

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Versión en español.
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This post was written by Alexandra Hidalgo

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