Small Town, Turn Away

“Small Town, Turn Away” is a personal documentary portrait of the filmmaker’s Mexican-American border hometown of Brownsville, Texas. In this autobiographical meditation on home, history, and migration, the filmmaker returns from Germany to the town she left 30 years ago as a queer teenager, following in the footsteps of an older cousin who died from AIDS. Using the loss of her cousin as as an emotional frame, and blending verite, archival, and fantasy sequences, the film explores the legacy of the 1980s at a moment of personal, political, and pandemic deja vu. “Small Town, Turn Away” explores the different ways that a place can exile or embrace people, and what role we all take when we draw those emotional lines that separate or enfold.