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The Ballad of Esequiel Hernández

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PBS Premiere: July 8, 2008

Synopsis

In 1997, U.S. Marines patrolling the Texas-Mexico border as part of the War on Drugs shot and killed Esequiel Hernández Jr. Mistaken for a drug runner, the 18-year-old was, in fact, a U.S. citizen tending his family's goats with a .22 rifle. He became the first American killed by U.S. military forces on native soil since the 1970 Kent State shootings. The Ballad of Esequiel Hernández, narrated by Tommy Lee Jones, explores Hernandez's tragic death and its torturous aftermath. His parents and friends, the Marines on patrol, and investigators discuss the dangers of militarizing the border and the death of one young man. A co-presentation of Latino Public Broadcasting. An official selection of the 2007 Tribeca Film Festival.

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TAGS: borders, fbi, homeland security, immigration, mexico, military

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Film Information

The Ballad of Esequiel Hernández (90 min.)

Premiere Date: July 8, 2008

Photos: Download Here

Trailer: Link

Filmmaker: Kieran Fitzgerald Bio | Interview | Statement

Press: Critical Acclaim | Fact Sheet | Press Release

Filmmaker

Kieran Fitzgerald
Kieran Fitzgerald

Nobody knew about his story, and I started wondering why it was that his story had vanished.”

— Kieran Fitzgerald, Filmmaker

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Film Update

Critical Acclaim

With an accountant's methodical attention and a true-crime maven's taste for a great story, Kieran Fitzgerald's memorable The Ballad of Esequiel Hernández documents a tragic 1997 border incident that sheds light on the uses of U.S. military on home soil.”

&mdash Robert Koehler, Variety

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