The Ballad of Esequiel HernándezEsequiel Hernández
Kieran Fitzgerald
USA, Documentary, 2007
87 min, MiniDV/16mm, Color
Spanish and English with English subtitles


On May 20th, 1997, the team leader of a four-man US Marine unit conducting a counter-narcotics mission near border-town of Redford, Texas shot and killed 18-year-old Esequiel Hernández, Jr. within sight of the Hernández home. It was the first time an American citizen had been killed on US soil by the military or National Guard since 1970. None of the marines was ever charged with a crime. Compelled by the current political climate on the US-Mexico Border, the marines agreed to be interviewed for the first time for The Ballad of Esequiel Hernández. The film contrasts their frustration and guilt at having killed one of the citizens they were pledged to protect, with the anger and grief of a family whose son died at the hands of their own military. Narrated by Texas’ own Tommy Lee Jones.

 

All audiences

Regal Metropolitan, Thursday April 23, 4 PM

Director Kieran Fitzgerald in attendance

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Kieran Fitzgerald directed several short films as an undergraduate at Harvard University. He has worked as a production assistant for The Three Burials of Melquiades Estrada and Colour Me Kubrick, and directed the documentary short Being Alan Conway, about the man who impersonated Stanley Kubrick during the 1990s. He is currently a Michener Fellow in fiction and screenwriting at the University of Texas in Austin. The Ballad of Esequiel Hernández is his first feature-length documentary film.

Producer: Brendan Fitzgerald
Screenwriter: Kieran Fitzgerald, Brendan Fitzgerald, Shane Slattery-Quintanilla
Cinematographer: Kieran Fitzgerald
Editor: Kieran Fitzgerald, Brendan Fitzgerald, Shane Slattery-Quintanilla
Music: Bobby Flores