Theo Rigby


Guatemala, Central America and San Francisco Bay Area USA
  • copyright: Theo Rigby
  • copyright: Theo Rigby
  • copyright: Theo Rigby

Sin País (Without Country) is an award winning short film that goes beyond the partisan politics and mainstream media's ‘talking point’ approach to immigration issues by exploring one family's complex and emotional journey involving deportation. In 1992, Sam and Elida Mejia left Guatemala during a violent civil war and brought their one-year old son, Gilbert, to California. The Mejia’s settled in the Bay Area, and for the past 17 years they have worked multiple jobs to support their family, paid their taxes, and saved enough to buy a home. They had two more children, Helen and Dulce, who are both U.S. citizens. In 2008, immigration agents stormed the Mejia's house looking for someone who didn’t live there. Sam, Elida, and Gilbert were undocumented and became deeply entangled in the U.S. immigration system. Sin País begins two weeks before Sam and Elida's scheduled deportation date. After a passionate fight to keep the family together, Sam and Elida are deported and take Dulce with them back to Guatemala.


With intimate access and striking imagery, Sin País explores the complexities of the Mejia's new reality of a separated family--parents without their children, and children without their parents. Screenings of Sin País are often followed by question and answer sessions that evolve into evocative discussions about U.S. immigration issues. Gilbert Mejia, who often attends these screenings and participates in the discussions, giving the audience an opportunity to hear first hand the experiences of a young man who has lived almost all of his life in the U.S. Sin País screenings and discussions provide much needed spaces where people can come together and engage in a thoughtful dialogue about immigration.