Sansón and Me

From Pelican Bay State Prison, Sansón’s life is defined by borders—between Mexico and the U.S., fact and fiction, personal choice and systemic force.

Close up of two, one is silhouetted
Independent Lens, Voces
Premiere Date
September 19, 2023
90 minutes
Funding Initiative
Open Call
  • Award laurels-r Created with Sketch.
    2022 Sheffield Doc/Fest-Best Film
  • headshot of man

    Rodrigo Reyes

    Rodrigo Reyes is a Mexican American filmmaker whose work is grounded in the contradictory poetry of the immigrant experience. He has received numerous honors, including the Guggenheim and Rainin Foundation Fellowships, Creative Capital, as well as awards at select film festivals including Tribeca, Hot Docs, and Sheffield DocFest. 

    filmmaker Su Kim

    Su Kim

    Su Kim is an Academy Award-nominated and Emmy®️ and Peabody Award-winning producer. Her films in release include Bitterbrush; the OSCAR®️ and Primetime Emmy®️-nominated Hale County This Morning, This Evening; and Midnight Traveler.

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    The Film

    Set in rural California and Mexico’s Pacific coast, Director Rodrigo Reyes' documentary is a moving portrait of the unlikely friendship of two Mexican migrants, told within the frame of the dramatic clash between systemic forces and personal choices that envelop young, incarcerated men of color in America.

    Sansón’s life is defined by borders—between Mexico and the United States, between freedom and incarceration, between fact and fiction. While serving two life sentences for first-degree murder in Pelican Bay State Prison, Sansón grapples with the ways he has traversed these borders, moving from country to country, from rural California to solitary confinement, and from the truths of his life to the mythologies he’s created. A tale told through dramatic reenactments, Sansón and Me recreates a life of multilayered border crossing as told by Sansón to his interpreter-turned-friend, filmmaker Rodrigo Reyes. In vividly portraying Sansón’s life from orphaned Mexican child to American prisoner, Reyes reveals one man’s attempt at reconciling the things that have happened to him and the things he has brought on himself.