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The film, Ay Mariposa, portrays life on the border, and the struggle of three borderlands residents in the lengthening shadow of the wall.
The film’s subjects include: Marianna Trevino Wright, Director of the National Butterfly Center; Zulema Hernandez, a Mexican immigrant and life-long migrant farmworker; and the butterfly, a creature fighting for survival in a landscape where more than 95 percent of its habitat is long gone and much of what remains lies directly in the path of the wall.
Ay Mariposa is the work of long-time borderlands documentarian Krista Schlyer and award-winning filmmakers Jenny Nichols and Morgan Heim, who have followed the events unfolding in South Texas since President Donald Trump was elected and vowed to complete the border barrier that has been under intermittent construction since the 1990s. Schlyer, the film’s director and author of the acclaimed 2012 book Continental Divide: Wildlife, People and the Border Wall, has documented the rise of walls on the United States’ border for the past decade.
“Nearly 700 miles of border barriers have been constructed since the 1990s,” Schlyer says.“The completion of the border wall under the Trump administration would seal the fate of some of the most endangered animals in North America, and fundamentally alter the existence of every borderlands resident. Ay Mariposa aims to spark a discussion about the deep emotions that have led us to this moment, and the unacceptable consequences of a border wall.”