WIDE ANGLE’s 18 with a Bullet follows members of the notorious Central American gang 18th Street. By the end of the film, most of the gang members profiled – Slappy, Sochi, and 18-year old Travieso – are in jail serving long sentences for their crimes.
For the summer 2008 re-broadcast, WIDE ANGLE follows the film with an update that tells another side of this transnational story. Like many Salvadoran gang members, Travieso was separated from his mother when she went north to find work in the United States. Today, she runs a successful cleaning business in the U.S. and holds a temporarily legal immigration status, but her sacrifices and the remittances sent home have not managed to give Travieso the better life she had dreamed for him. This mother’s story paints a nuanced portrait of one immigrant’s experience and the sometimes heartbreaking difficulties of life stretched across borders.