Short Film Profile

TNT - Tago Nang Tago

As if in a daze, Tony stares at the gun in his hands. He points the gun to his head. A gunshot is heard. Tony is an undocumented immigrant living in New York and attending school in New Jersey. The commute causes him to be late for work. Annoyed by his tardiness, his uncle reminds him that attending school would be futile because he would still remain undocumented when he graduates. Unhappy, Tony looks for other jobs. He also thinks about returning to the Philippines. Nico, an illegal gun peddler, asks Tony to deliver guns to gangster kids for some quick cash. Tony hesitates. One day, Tony tries to borrow money from his friend, Mike. The latter reminds him that they are in the same situation; both of them are undocumented and struggling financially. Tony also tells Mike about the illegal gun delivery scheme that Nico is asking him to do. Mike reminds Tony that that could potentially cause him more problems. One morning, Tony’s uncle presses him to work faster to meet their deadlines. The two engage in a heated exchange. His uncle yells at Tony and calls him names before furiously walking to another room. As if in a daze, the voice of his uncle reverberates in Tony’s head while he stares at the gun in his hands. Gun shots are heard. Then, a furious voice echoes.

Film notes

Why another immigrant story?

Immigration is one of the most hotly-contested issues of today. In the US, recent events related to immigration have moved votes, spilled guts and emotions, and prompted actions. It has both united and divided colleagues, friends, and families. Many films about immigration and immigrants have been produced with characters ranging from innocent children to overstaying tourists to your next-door neighbor trying to make ends meet to the farm workers and day laborers to victims of human trafficking to renowned personalities including a Pulitzer Prize winner. Yet, we are barely scratching the surface of the immigrants’ stories.

The 2012 census estimates that there were 308,827 registered immigrants in the US during the time that the survey was taken. The actual number of immigrants, including the ones who were undocumented, of course, was hard to pin point due to the fact that many of them kept a low profile. To prove this point, the office of immigration statistics in the US reports that the Department of Homeland Security removed 419,000 foreign nationals in the same year. These numbers were way beyond the number of registered immigrants. Imagine the stories of each of the lives of these people. These were not just numbers. These were human beings, each with a story to tell.

Often, when we think of immigration issues, we think of race-related conflicts. We tend to forget that while this is often true, this is not always the case. Sometimes, immigrants also face issues that arise from their relationships within their own race and their own families. Immigration issues are driven by economic systems that know no racial or familial bounds.

TNT highlights the dynamics within the main character’s relationships with his relatives and friends, while at once placing it within the context of the broader issues that are part of the immigration problem; particularly, of those issues faced by the immigrants who are undocumented.
immigration reform migrant workers laborers justice dream overseas filipinos filipino-americans undocumented ofw



Copyright © 2014 Roberto Reyes Ang

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Information on this profile is provided by the film owners and/or compiled from available sources | Profile updated 21 Nov 2014