Preview Screening: Dead When I Got Here + Q&A
This screening will be followed by a Q&A with director Mark Aitken and journalist Ed Vulliamy.
Compassion and self-affirmation are discovered by a man as he manages a mental asylum run by its own patients in Juárez, Mexico – the world’s most violent city. Juárez, a city that borders the United States, is at once a place of diverse culture and tradition and a site of desperation and rampant poverty.
Ill and weathered by decades of drug use, police cast Josué out of the deadly streets of Juárez into the desert, where they left him in a mental asylum governed by its own patients. Six years later, Josué manages the asylum. Now it is his job to give medicine to the sick; to help them walk; to assist them in recovering from the same trauma he experienced while living on the streets.
Attempting to reconcile his broken history, Josué dreams of his estranged daughter in California – who he last saw 22 years ago. He asks Aitken to look for his daughter, who posts pictures on the internet in the hope that she will reach out. Josué and his daughter make contact and agree to meet. The itinerant father knows he cannot explain his absence, but perhaps forgiveness can lead to a new beginning.
Ed Vulliamy is a writer for The Guardian and The Observer. In 2013, he won the award for literary reporting named after the Polish writer Ryszard Kapuściński for his book Amexica: War Along the Borderline, a vivid dissection of the violent US-Mexico ‘war on drugs’.
Directed by Mark Aitken