Namrata Singh Gujral understood the media narrative regarding illegal immigration. Now, she knows the rest of the story. The actress turned director created “America’s Forgotten” after stumbling across the story of young Gurupreet Kaur, a 6-year-old Indian girl who died of heat stroke while attempting to cross the U.S.-Mexico border.
The girl’s parents claimed they were “desperate” and had little choice but to bring her with them to America for a better life. Gujral wanted to find out for herself. She started digging into the girl’s story, eager for fresh details about the family and its desperate state.
That led her to investigate illegal immigration, the political rhetoric surrounding the subject and the motivations behind asylum seekers flooding America’s southern borders.
“America’s Forgotten” chronicles her educational journey, letting the victims of illegal immigration crime tell their heartbreaking stories. That alone is something few documentaries eagerly share.
We also learn how immigration “coyotes” leverage every tool at their disposal, including sound bites from Democrats, to coax immigrants to risk everything for American riches.
What better coyote sales pitch than seeing every Democratic presidential candidate vow free health care for illegals?
Gujral’s film examines Gurupreet’s family, a clan living in conditions that shocked the indie filmmaker. Instead of the impoverished hovel she expected to find she discovered a comfortable home in a modest neighborhood. It’s a far cry from the starving masses seen in India’s poorest neighborhoods.
“When you see how the majority of Indians live, these people are better than middle class,” she says of the girl’s family, adding the home in question featured marble floors.
Yet reporters covering the girl’s tragic death didn’t share the complete story behind the family’s economic status.
“That was my big moment,” she continues, adding one of the family members is a physician. “This is all a hoax.”
She turned her anger to the reporters who covered the case with a discernible lack of curiosity.
“How can you be a journalist and not even question any of it?” she asks, which led her to another thought.
“I have a daughter. I would not dream of [risking her life at the U.S. border], especially paying someone to cross a desert,” the director says.
“America’s Forgotten,” set for an Oct. 16 release at AmericasForgottenMovie.com and potentially other outlets, required Gujral to pony up the production costs. She previously helmed several films and TV shows including “1 a Minute,” a documentary about breast cancer.
Gujral survived both breast and blood cancer.
Her usual film funders wouldn’t cut checks for “America’s Forgotten” due to the film’s content, she told Newsweek. One producer offered to help if she removed a scene depicting Biden in a negative light.
Making “America’s Forgotten” gave Gujral a crash course in illegal immigration, like how it impacts federal funding for schools, health care and congressional representation.
Part of that discovery revealed that some illegal immigrants and asylum seekers weren’t as impoverished as we’re routinely led to believe. She also found liberal politicians benefiting from illegal immigration “as a tool to get votes.”
“There’s no way they didn’t know all of this … they’re either disregarding it or intentionally sweeping it under the carpet,” she says. Even their concern for poor immigrants separated at the border irked her.
“They don’t need to be there,” she says of many who find themselves in that harrowing plight.
Yes, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gets a close-up in the film.
Gujral has deep ties to the creative community, and she leaned on them to shoot “America’s Forgotten.” That process came with considerable caveats.
Nearly the entire crew asked her to leave their names out of the film’s credits for fear of career repercussions. Only one person didn’t make that request but decided to join the others after learning so many sought anonymity.
Gujral realized her film’s critical take on Democratic positions put a professional target on her back.
“I don’t think I have any friends in the industry that are voting for Trump,” she says, adding she harbors no ill will toward Biden.
“I don’t think he’s a bad guy. What irks me is my party is in bed with the lunacy of the far left,” she says.
That stance wasn’t enough to spare one long-term friendship.
Gujral says she reached out to a friendly neighbor, a well-known professional film editor, about working on the project. When the editor learned the film’s revelations it led to the end of their 20-year friendship.
Other professional connections similarly balked at the film’s findings.
“I can’t work on this movie … it’s too right-wing,” she recalls one artist telling her. “It’s the truth. That’s not right-wing. It’s the facts.”
Another person, an assistant she previously worked alongside, similarly balked at being part of “America’s Forgotten.” They ended up discussing the recent violent protests around Santa Monica. The assistant took part in those protests, he admitted, adding that looting and violence is “what you need to make your voice heard,” she recalls him saying.
“What were you protesting?” she asked.
“I’m protesting everything that’s wrong with America today,” he told her.
“You went to a private school … what have you done to correct everything you think that is wrong,” she asks. “Did you give any money to charities? Do you do anything with Veteran’s Affairs?”
Gujral says part of her mission with “America’s Forgotten” is to send a tough love message to her fellow Democrats.
“The Democrat Party has gone way left. Until people like me in the Democrat Party that are more American than Democrat stand up and speak out against it, America’s gonna be in a free fall, highjacked by extremism.”
That sentiment, delivered via her “America’s Forgotten” interview with Newsweek, didn’t go over well.
“You can’t imagine the hate mail I got,” she says. Others assailed the movie weeks before it becomes available based on that article.
“How can you call it the worst movie in the world? You haven’t even watched the movie,” she asks.
Gujral saw the recent debate between President Trump and Biden. The skirmish helped her decide which way to vote next month.
“I wasn’t gonna vote for Biden,” she admits. The more she thought about the debate, the more she realized she would pull the lever for President Trump Nov. 3.
Making “America’s Forgotten” didn’t erase the empathy she feels for immigrants seeking their own version of American dream. It did have another effect, though.
“I have lost empathy for the lies that create this situation,” Gujral says.
The views expressed in this opinion piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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