Candid Cinema

‘Missing In Brooks County’ Review

By: Amanda Guarragi

There are documentaries that come along that give you more insight on a situation that the news just won’t give you. Over the years, people have noticed that some news stations, do not give you the full story. Instead, they give you, their version of the story. As we all know, one singular story, can have multiple perspectives, depending on who’s telling it. Those who dive into documentary filmmaking are seeking the truth and are asking all the right questions. Missing in Brooks County is one of the most honest, harrowing, and emotional pieces that dives into what actually happens at the United States/Mexico border.

Two families travel to Brooks County, Texas, to look for loved ones who went missing after crossing into the United States from Mexico. During their search, they meet vigilante ranchers, human smugglers, activists and Border Patrol agents. What Lisa Molomot and Jeff Bemiss did was bring the harsh reality to the forefront. They interviewed many people, in order for viewers to understand the gravity of the situation. The voiceovers and the actual phone calls really pull you into the stories from the missing individuals. It is incredibly devastating, not only to hear their voices, but to see the aftermath of what happens to these migrants.

The horrible feeling in their gut was felt. The guilt in celebrating a birthday, while their loved one is missing, was felt. It is a terrible, sunken feeling, that you can’t quite explain. There was a balance between visually showing viewers the unfortunate deaths at the border, and the emotions that were shared by their loved ones. At times the structure of the film didn’t quite work for me, but Bemiss and Molomot always reeled me back into the story because of the need to share the truth. That is why this documentary feature is something everyone should watch. Honest filmmaking, or even journalism, is hard to come by. These stories need to be told in the right way, and the right way, is showing every single angle, even if it is difficult to watch.

Missing in Brooks County slowly unravels and leaves the viewer in a state of shock. How can any of this be happening, every single day, right under their noses? That is the one question that will stay in your mind, while you’re watching this. It is hard to accept the state of the world, and why anything this horrible would even happen. You can either shut yourself away from it, or acknowledge the injustice, and try to use your voice for some good. Your heart will ache with the families who have lost their loved ones. The search for truth is something that should keep every journalist and documentary filmmaker going. Their voices are important and will help many people understand the true state of the world and their own country.

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