PBS has slated the premiere of the documentary American Exile on Nov. 16, just after Veteran’s Day, for its linear network, as well as on pbs.org and the PBS Video app.
The film, produced by John J. Valadez and Carleen L. Hsu, will premiere as part of Latino Public Broadcasting’s documentary strand ‘VOCES.’ The film covers the story of Valente Valenzuela and his brother Manuel, who both volunteered as teenagers to fight in Vietnam. Now, roughly a half century later, they’ve received deportation notices. The film digs into an issue that faces thousands of American military veterans who have been or are in danger of being deported because of misdemeanor offenses after completing their service.
The documentary was filmed over seven years as the two brothers seek to end the deportation of military veterans and their families. The project chronicles Manuel Valente as he travels on a cross-country road trip from Colorado to Washington, DC, to ask the U.S. president for an executive order ending this practice, meeting other veterans affected by deportation, along the way.
The film is directed by Valadez and edited by Hsu, and is a coproduction of Burning Box Studio and WKAR Public Media/East Lansing in association with Latino Public Broadcasting. Funding for the film was provided by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Michigan State University, WKAR, the New York State Council for the Arts, ITVS and the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture. The film is presented by PBS SoCal and WKAR Public Media/East Lansing.