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On The Line: A Deep Dive into the Lives of Deported Mexicans in American Call Centres

The film offers an intimate look into the lives of deported Mexicans working in relocated American call centres, providing a unique perspective on immigration and deportation.

Keywords: Deportation, Immigration, Tijuana, Call Centres, American Businesses, Human Rights


"On The Line" is a compelling documentary directed by Alex Gohari and Leo Mattei, released in 2020. It takes us into the heart of Tijuana, Mexico, where deported Mexicans, Rocio, Richard and Sergio, are striving to rebuild their lives while working in relocated American call centres. In an era of intense debate over immigration policies and border control, this documentary provides a crucial perspective on the realities faced by deported individuals.


The documentary follows the tumultuous journey of Rocio, Richard, and Sergio as they struggle to adjust to their new lives in Tijuana after being deported from the United States. Employed in American call centres relocated to the border town, they grapple with the challenges of their new reality while dealing with the unsettling memories of their past lives.

More Film Analysis



"On The Line" adopts an observational approach, giving viewers an intimate look into the lives of the deported Mexicans. The documentary does an excellent job of researching and exploring the subject matter in depth, with a presentation style that is both engaging and thought-provoking.

Historical and Factual Context


Understanding the complex issue of immigration and deportation requires knowledge of the historical and current relationship between Mexico and the United States, including the controversial immigration policies and their socio-economic implications.

Key themes in the film

  • Immigration and deportation: Impact on individuals and their lives.
  • Economic implications: The role of relocated American businesses in foreign lands.
  • Identity and belonging: The struggle of deported individuals to find their place in a new environment.

Film Comparisons

While other films like "The Other Side of Immigration" focus on the reasons behind migration, "On The Line" offers a unique perspective by shedding light on the lives of deported individuals trying to rebuild their lives.

Noteworthy Moments

One significant moment in the documentary is when the protagonists share their personal stories, offering a powerful insight into their emotional journey and struggle.


The film has been praised for its candid portrayal of a rarely seen side of deportation, with viewers highlighting the emotional depth and the documentary's ability to humanize a politically charged issue.


"On The Line" is a must-watch for anyone interested in understanding the human impact of deportation and immigration policies. It's particularly relevant for those interested in social justice, human rights, and socio-economic issues.

More film information:


  • Genre: Documentary



  • Rocio: A deported Mexican woman, rebuilding her life in Tijuana.
  • Richard: A man grappling with his new life post-deportation.
  • Sergio: Another deportee, fighting to make ends meet in Tijuana.



  • Tijuana, Mexico: Border town and the setting of the documentary.

Key Questions Raised by the Film

  1. How does deportation impact the lives of individuals and their families?
  2. What role do relocated American businesses play in foreign lands?
  3. How do deported individuals grapple with issues of identity and belonging?

I wonder what the film would be in another art form

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  1. A famous book, it would be "The Devil's Highway" by Luis Alberto Urrea, which also explores the harsh realities of immigration and deportation.
  2. A famous song? "Immigrants (We Get The Job Done)" from the Hamilton Mixtape, reflecting the struggles and resilience of immigrants.
  3. A famous piece of art? "The Uprooted" by Charley Toorop, depicting the displacement and struggle of individuals.
  4. A famous celebrity? Salma Hayek, a Mexican-American actress known for her advocacy on immigration issues.
  5. A colour? Grey, symbolizing the uncertainties and challenges faced by the deported individuals.
  6. A music style? Blues, echoing the emotional depth and struggle portrayed in the documentary.