An evocative audiovisual meditation on the experience of Mexican immigrants living and working in rural America.

US/Mexico | 2020 | 72 minutes | Color | DVD | English, Spanish | Subtitled | Order No. W211285 |


This  intimate cinematic  portrait of two small towns - one in Mexico and one in Minnesota - is  an  evocative  audiovisual meditation on  the  experience of Mexican immigrants living and working  in rural America. Vivid cinematography,  richly layered soundscapes, short animated sequences, and a constellation of testimonies introduce audiences to  Maltrata, an  agricultural town nestled in the mountains of Veracruz, Mexico,  and to Northfield, a college town in southern  Minnesota  where many  Maltratans have immigrated and settled. By  means of a nonlinear narrative and a camera that  thoughtfully  yet viscerally meanders between everyday scenes  in both towns, Chilean-American  director Cecilia Cornejo Sotelo (dir. I WONDER WHAT YOU WILL REMEMBER OF SEPTEMBER)  shows  the complexities of, and contrasts between, these places.  

Filmed  amidst increasing violence  and political unrest  in Mexico and  the rising  anti-immigrant sentiment that  took hold during and after the 2016 U.S. presidential election,  the voices of fiercely determined and hard-working women coalesce to offer a nuanced portrait of a transnational community.  Ultimately, the  film is a testament  to the resiliency and ingenuity of uprooted people as they craft a life and a home  fostered by ritual, relationship, and community rather than solely by geography.


"Ways of Being Home deftly illuminates the high costs the undocumented residents of Northfield have paid, while also roundly celebrating their humanity. Displacement is the heavy price paid and home means so much more than a geographic location in this moving film."



  • Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Film Festival 2020


Cecilia Cornejo

Cecilia Cornejo Sotelo is a documentary filmmaker, artist, and educator engaging rural communities in southern Minnesota in a multilayered exploration of home and belonging. Locally rooted yet globally minded, her work examines notions of belonging and the immigrant experience while exploring the traces of historical trauma on people and places.

An inaugural recipient of the 2020 McKnight Fellowship for Community-Engaged Artists, Cecilia’s work has received support from multiple organizations, including the Minnesota State Arts Board, the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture, and the Jerome Foundation. Her film work has shown at venues such as MoMA’s Documentary Fortnight, the Minneapolis/St. Paul International Film Festival, Cine las Americas (Texas), L’Alternativa (Spain), InVideo (Italy), Melbourne Latin American Film Festival (Australia), Puerto Vallarta International Film Festival (Mexico) and Festival de Cine Pobre (Cuba). (09/21)



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