The Least of These takes a penetrating look at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center, a former medium-security prison that re-opened in 2006 as a prototype family detention center. The facility houses immigrant children and their parents from all over the world who are awaiting asylum hearings or deportation proceedings. As information about troubling conditions at the facility began to leak out, activist attorneys sought to investigate and address the issues. In telling the story of their quest, the film explores the role (and limits) of community and legal activism in bringing about change. The film leads viewers to consider how core American rights and values - protection of children,presumption of innocence, upholding the family structure as the basic unit of civil society, and America as a refuge of last resort - should apply to immigrants, particularly children.
...This quiet and measured documentary about the history of Hutto doesn t paint ICE or management firm Corrections Corporation of America as the bad guys. Instead, it shows them as victims of their own political and commercial hubris and highlights the bleak comedy of their attempts to justify a bad idea. But as the interviews with traumatized kids, parents disabused of the American dream, and the lawyers that fight for them show, it doesn t matter how many Disney murals you paint on the walls a prison is a prison. --Richard Whitaker, The Austin Chronicle
...The Least of These is a documentary about the Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas, where immigrant families are detained while they seek asylum or await judgment on immigration cases. The families stories are often sad, but I like the way the movie shows how persistent activism actions can lead to positive change... ..A compelling film that I d really recommend watching. --Jette Kernion, Cinematical
Powerful and moving... a film about a fight for social justice that forced change... I watched the film with my 11-year old. She wouldn t go to bed. She was stuck on this movie because she was watching people her age being imprisoned with their families. And she was stunned by what she saw... --Mark Steiner, The Mark Steiner Show, WEAA, Baltimore