Film festival honors Father Groody's "Dying to Live" documentary

Author: Arts and Letters


“Dying to Live: A Migrant’s Journey,” a 33-minute film written and directed by University of Notre Dame theologian Rev. Daniel Groody, C.S.C., received the best documentary award Nov. 30 at the New Way Media Film Festival in Berkeley, Calif.

The recognition is the latest of many honors accorded the film, including selection to the Australian International Film Festival in Melbourne; Coyote Film Festival in Lake County, Calif.; Hearts and Minds Film Festival in Wilmington, Del.; Newport Beach International Film Festival in California; George Lindsey University of Northern Alabama Film Festival in Florence, Ala.; and International Hispanic Film Festival in Palm Desert, Calif. The film was a Harry Chapin Media Award finalist for film and television coverage that positively impacts hunger, poverty and self-reliance.

“Dying to Live” provides a profound look at the human face of Mexican immigrants, including who they are, why they leave their homes, and what they face on their journies. It draws on the insights of Pulitzer Prize-winning photographers, theologians, church and congressional leaders, activists, musicians, and the immigrants themselves to explore the places of conflict, pain and hope along the U.S.-Mexico border.

The film has been adopted as an educational tool by the U.S. Catholic Bishops and will be used in conjunction with their Justice for Immigrants campaign. It also is being circulated among numerous organizations, including Catholic Charities, Catholic Relief Services, the Academy for Catholic Hispanic Theologians, No More Deaths, andHumane Borders.

Father Groody is the author of “Border of Death, Valley of Life: An Immigrant Journey of Heart and Spirit.” An assistant professor of theology, he is director of the Center for Latino Spirituality and Culture in Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies and has been studying Mexican immigration issues for more than 15 years.

Originally published by Dennis Brown at on December 12, 2006.