"Icebox" and the Exceptionality Intrinsic to Institutional Violence on the US-Mexico Border
AuthorsMarini, Anna Marta
IdentifiersPermanent link (URI): http://hdl.handle.net/10017/49274
REDEN: revista española de estudios norteamericanos, n.2 (2020), pp. 49-58, ISSN 2695-4168
State of exception
Central American immigration
Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 Internacional
In 2018, Daniel Sawka directed independent feature length movie Icebox,which narrates the story of a 12-year old Honduran boy whose parents push him to migrate northbound in order to escape forced gang recruitment. Without giving way to ideological bias, Sawka reproduces his journey, providing a useful tool for raising awareness on some of the key matters related to the ongoing debate on US immigration and border policies. The operation of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities and the detention of Central American children at the US-Mexico border represent a transnational gray area in the extension of sovereign power, turning the border itself in a kenotic space of exception legitimated by the construction of a specific public discourse on immigration and national boundaries. Furthermore, the movie describes the existence of the evident normalization of inhumanity intrinsic to the detention process and praxis, leading to dehumanization of detainees and a suspension—both individual and public—of questioning the tasks performed by border enforcement agencies from an ethical or moral perspective.