React to Film Shows Award Winning Documentary

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React to Film Ohio University hosted a screening of the renown film, “Who is Dayani Cristal?” on Thursday night at the Athena. 
This screening was part of a React to Film national movement where college campuses across the country host events to generate dialogue and spark civic action. 
“Who is Dayani Cristal?” was the winner of the 2013 Sundance Cinematography award and nominated in the World Documentary Competition.
The film dissects the topic of immigration by telling the story of a migrant who found himself in the deadly stretch of desert in Arizona, known as “the corridor of death,” and shows how one life becomes testimony to what people believe to be a tragic result of the U.S. war on immigration.
The debate about immigration reform has been an intense topic within recent years. While some people believe the government would be smart to lessen the restraints it has imposed on immigration since the 1960’s, others see the tight requirements to be a necessity to withholding America’s objectives.
“We have had a lot of demographic changes in the United States since the 1960’s, we are by all means a changing society,” explains Frederic Cady who is a Political Science Professor at Ohio University and served as a panelist member at the event.
Cady believes the discussion about immigration is important because it defines who we are.
 “Anytime society changes there are always tensions and emotions. The question ‘who are we?’ is an important one and one that brings out a lot of emotions.”
No doubt the debate is centered on economics, but many would argue it ought to pay more attention to humanity.
“We should be investing in human beings and we just can’t let this business mind state, which is so capitalistic and evil, just go on,” explained Leon, an active member in the discussion about the film.
Although this may seem like an issue that can only be solved on a national level, it strikes close to home for people currently residing in Athens. According to City Data, 1,842 of Athens’ residents are foreign born, that is four percent higher than the state percentage.
Caitlyn Stone, the president of React to Film Ohio University, believes that whether illegal or legal, this discussion includes all immigrants and invariably every resident living in the United States because which direction the U.S. decides to go with immigration reform, depends on the beliefs of those voting. 
“If you are voting and you are not informed on a certain issue then you are not going to be able to help either way. So I think discussing with the purpose of informing is really important.” 
She also explains why she believes it is so important in a town like Athens with a significant collegiate demographic.
“We are the future of the U.S. We are the future teachers, future politicians, future media makers and if we are having this discussion on this level and we are able to open our minds to see different perspectives, we are the people that are going to be making those decisions later and we will be the ones who will be able to influence others. “
For now the debate continues, but Professor Cady will continue to yearn for closure to the seemingly never-ending discomfort people face with the prospect of change.
 “My personal hope is that we can end this now so fifty or one hundred years from now we are not uncomfortable with whatever immigrant group is more prominent in the United States, but maybe it is just a process we have to go through every fifty years or so.”