“9500 Liberty” captures the impassioned town hall debate leading up to the vote, and the fear that animates the pro-mandate citizens is heartbreakingly apparent. They tremble as they describe a coming tidal wave of criminal brown people washing over them and destroying their schools and hospitals (no matter that the crime-rate has actually plummeted in the previous decade). They want us to know that the 9/11 terrorists were illegals; you do the math.
“9500 Liberty” understands that what moves these people is the idealized America they see vanishing before their eyes, one in which everyone looks and talks like them. Stated reasons for “probable cause” include speaking Spanish, playing Latin music, owning a chicken, and growing corn.
The movie also understands the melting pot that America actually is and always has been (since we kicked the Indians aside, anyway). The filmmakers follow the resistance of the legal immigrant community – the title comes from the street address of a huge anti-mandate banner mounted by Gaudencio Fernandez, a US citizen since the 1980s – and charts the growing realization of many that, legal or not, they’d best move elsewhere if they don’t want to be stopped by the cops every day.
I strongly urge everyone, whether or not you live in Prince William County or even in Virginia, to see this film. Upcoming screenings are listed here. Check it out!