“Long Gone By” is the story of an Nicaraguan immigrant mother, Ana Alvarez, who makes the ultimate sacrifice for her daughter to secure her future in America.
Ana (Erica Muñoz) and her daughter Izzy (Izzy Hau’ula) are both Nicaraguan immigrants living in a small town in Warsaw, Indiana. Izzy was born in Nicaragua but was raised in the states. Ana holds down two jobs working in an manufacturing plant and another job working as a housekeeper. Ana works hard to provide for herself and her daughter but panic arises when she receives a deportation order that gives her only two weeks to turn herself in to law enforcement. At the same time, she discovers that Izzy has been accepted into Indiana University. Izzy’s acceptance into a good school gives her the opportunity for a bright future. However, Izzy’s first semester would cost $18,000 and because of her immigrant status, she is not eligible for federal aide and other scholarships. Ana tries to take out a bank loan to help pay for her daughter’s college tuition but is denied because she is not an American citizen. Ana even ask the woman of the house she cleans for a small loan but is condescendingly turned down when the woman basically tells Ana that she needs to work harder instead of asking for a handout.
With no other viable options left and only two weeks before deportation, Ana gets back in touch with an old acquaintance, Max, to help her come up with the money. Max suggest that she robs a bank and Ana agrees under the condition that no ones gets hurt and that no guns will be used. Max explains to Ana that all she needs to do is walk into the bank and discreetly pass a note telling the banks teller that she has gun and to give her all the money in the drawer. The tellers will give up the money without a fight because the bank is insured and the tellers don’t want anyone to get hurt.
Sure enough, the first robbery goes over smoothly as Ana wears a simple head scarf and a pair of sunglasses to disguise her identity. She passes the teller a note and he begins filling her bag with money. In only a few minutes, Ana robs the bank and immediately flees the scene. However, during the second robbery Max accompanies her and soon everything goes haywire when he pulls out a gun. This causes the bank tellers to set off the alarm. Max gets away with the money but the cops end up following Max back to his bar and he gets arrested. Shaken up, Ana manages to evade the police and in a panic, moves moves her and Izzy into a motel just in case the cops come to her home looking for her. Ana successfully manages to pull off two more robberies before finally having the $18,000 needed for Izzy’s tuition.
Soon thereafter, Ana turns herself in for deportation. Izzy is distraught because she may never see her mother again after she gets sent back to Nicaragua. But Ana consoles Izzy by telling her everything will be okay because she will have a beautiful life ahead of her in America. Ana may have not been able to secure her own future in America but she made sacrifices to secure a bright future for Izzy.
“Long Gone By” looks deep into the immigrant experience and the sacrifices immigrant families have to make out of survival. At a crucial time in America when undocumented immigrants are being rounded up and separated from their families—“Long Gone By” is a must see film. There’s so much stigma around immigrants that not many people are able to recognize that immigrants are human beings just like us who are simply looking for a better life. “Long Gone By” does a great job putting a face to the immigrant experience in a way that humanizes them so that audiences can empathize with their struggle. This film also highlights the way undocumented immigrants are backed into a corner and are forced to resort to desperate measures just to survive in this country.
“Long Gone By” was filmed on location in Warsaw, Indiana. The small town vibe of the film definitely creates an eerie and isolated feeling that reflects well on the isolated feeling immigrants experience from having very little support while also worrying about the constant threat of deportation looming over their heads.
“Long Gone By’” is a must see film that excellently illustrates the immigrant experience. This story needed to be told now more than ever.
HBO’s New York Latino Film Festival has just announced the premiere details for “Long Gone By” starring Erica Muñoz who is also the associate producer, directed by Andrew Morgan and produced by Emily Morgan. The film will premiere on Saturday August 17, 2019 at 2pm at AMC Times Square.