Voices In Exile / Desde El Exilio

(Series) (1985-1986) A series of four, 30-minute documentaries that tells the story of refugees fleeing war-torn El Salvador and their struggle to remain in the United States. Produced in English and Spanish for national and international distribution.

Claire Schoen: Producer/director, sound recordist/editor
Fine Line Productions: Executive Producer
Award: NFCB Golden Reel winner for best documentary

Series Summary: Salvadoran refugees, living in the Mission District of San Francisco, tell their stories. Laborers, farmers, school teachers, university students, market women, nurses, they have become targets of the war engulfing El Salvador. As death squads single out anyone suspected of leftist sympathies, the army levels whole village in Viet Nam-style pacification programs. Fleeing persecution and random violence, Salvadorans have become a people uprooted. The ones who have made it to the United States describe their crossing into the life of the undocumented immigrant. Those apprehended face deportation and then persecution from the U.S.-backed Salvadoran regime. However, there is a support system growing up in response to this situation, from churches, lawyers and solidarity organizations.

photo by Jan Sturmann