Mi Familia, 1995
This heartwarming story has not one, but three border crossing scenes and they make great political and social commentary. In the first, a young country boy from Mexico walks for a year from his village to Los Angeles at the turn of the 20th century. He just walks in. The border? “In those days, the border was just a line in the sand,” says the narrator, underlining the often-unacknowledged close historical ties between Mexico and the United States. Later, his pregnant wife (Jennifer Lopez) is wrongly deported in a Great Depression-era round-up where Mexicans, whether legal or not, where driven to central Mexico and dumped. This really happened, after Mexicans were (surprise!) blamed for taking jobs away from Americans. Months after giving birth, she crosses the Rio Grande with her baby boy, losing him in the waves at one point, in a heart-stopping scene. You’d have to be made of stone not to be touched.