Our border is under assault, from within and without. And the American people are rising up.
On June 10 Eric Cantor became the first House Majority Leader in the history of the country to be defeated in his primary. His opponent accused him of supporting the policies that have led to the humanitarian crisis now taking place on America’s southern border–a crisis so bad that even the pro-amnesty media now decry it.
The day after Cantor’s ouster, we announced the national release of our movie: The Arroyo, on iTunes and Amazon Prime.
The Arroyo, a modern western, takes an unflinching look at the man-made disaster unfolding in the border states. Unaccompanied minors face danger and death in the blazing desert, ranchers lose their land to roving gangs of heavily armed smugglers, and desperate workers face extortion, abuse, murder and rape at the hands of the drug cartels and human traffickers they entrust to guide them north.
Shot in 2011, it actually envisioned exactly the sort of popular backlash against politicians that unseated the Majority Leader. That seemingly prophetic take on the border issue has helped rocket the film to the number one slot on iTunes for westerns.
But if the film seems prescient, there are rational reasons.
The first is that the current crisis has been building for decades and has been exacerbated by the policies of the Obama Administration, which actually encourage the unsafe and unlawful flow of people from South and Central America into the United States. Those policies incentivize both workers and children to place their lives and fortunes into the hands of the same criminals responsible for the deaths of over 30,000 civilians in Mexico alone.
The second reason is that we had a good guide to the war taking place at America’s backdoor in filmmaker and occasional Big Hollywood contributor Chris Burgard, whose tremendous documentary, Border, tells that tale.
But we felt that the message of Border needed a wider audience.
Inspired by Andrew Breitbart’s constant refrain that politics is downstream of culture, The Arroyo sets about exploring the issues Border brought into such clear relief through the medium of the classic American story-one man’s struggle to stand for what’s right.
The movie follows a quiet rancher on the Arizona border who watches nightly as his land is violated by the cartels. In addition to cut fences and spooked cattle, the migration of people, drugs and arms across his land leaves dead bodies in its wake-some killed by the brutal desert heat and dehydration, others raped and murdered by the heavily armed coyotes who treat the men, women and children they lead north like slaves and animals.
After years of watching his land fall to pieces, and of being denied help by the elected representatives whose jobs it is to enforce the laws of the land, the rancher, Jim Weatherford – played by actor and musician Kenny Maines – decides to take matters into his own hands, defending his own land against the powerful cartels.
How does it turn out? Well, you’ll have to watch the movie to find that out.
In the real world, though, it isn’t looking so good. The number of unaccompanied minors arriving on our soil is already more than double what it was last year–and it isn’t even July yet. Meanwhile, the President of the United States continues to promise to dictate amnesty if the legislature won’t give it to him through more constitutional methods. Our own border patrol says that the policies of our government are making the problem worse, not better.
Still, if Majority Leader of the House of Representatives can be defeated in his primary, there’s still hope that the American people can still make a stand. And if politics is really downstream of culture, then maybe The Arroyo can play some small part in encouraging them to do just that.