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SXSW First Look: ‘Split At The Root’ Documents Grassroots Movement To Oppose Trump Administration’s Zero Tolerance Immigration Policy

An undocumented woman and her children at a press conference, as seen in 'Split at the Root'

EXCLUSIVE: No tolerance for “Zero Tolerance.”

That was the attitude of a group of women who organized in 2018 to oppose the Trump’s administration’s family separation policy, which saw thousands of children stripped from their mothers’ arms after crossing into the U.S. without documents.

The SXSW world premiere documentary Split at the Root, directed by Linda Goldstein Knowlton, shows the immigrants impacted by the wrenching policy, and the activists who joined forces to do something about it.

Split at the Root follows the emotional journey of mothers separated from their children at the U.S. border and the grassroots initiative that, against all odds, reunites those families,” reads a thumbnail description of the film. “When a Guatemalan mother seeking asylum was separated from her kids under the Zero Tolerance Policy, a Facebook post by a mom in Queens coalesced into a movement as thousands of like-minded women across the U.S. refused to stand by quietly. Immigrant Families Together was born – a rapid response group committed to doing what the government couldn’t – or wouldn’t do: reunite parents with their children separated” under the policy.

The film premieres Sunday, March 13 at the festival in Austin, Texas. Producers are Marti Noxon (Sharp Objects), Maria Grasso (Dietland), and Miranda Bailey (God’s Country).

Executive producers include Rosario Dawson (Rent, Kids), Lana Parrilla (Once Upon a Time), Zak Kilberg (The Mauritanian), Amanda Marshall (God’s Country), and Jason Beck (The Amazing Johnathan). ICM Partners, CAA Media Finance, and UTA Independent are handling worldwide sales rights.

In the exclusive clip above, a woman reunited with her children through the efforts of IFT makes a plea for other undocumented women like her, whose children were taken from them after crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.

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