Directed by Dario Guerrero • Documentary • 2022 • 60 minutes
Weaving together footage from over a quarter of a century, Rocío follows the family of undocumented Mexican immigrant and Harvard University student Dario Guerrero as they struggle to stay together in the face of his mother's terminal illness and the punishing constraints of U.S. immigration law. When news of Rocío Meneses Díaz's diagnosis with cancer forces Dario to take a leave of absence from Harvard, he returns to his family's Los Angeles home to help care for her and document the way illness profoundly transforms his family's life.
After exhausting available treatment options in the U.S., Dario makes the life-altering decision to accompany his mother to an alternative treatment center in Mexico, throwing the future of his immigration status and education into doubt. In spite of his status as a DACA recipient, Dario faces opposition from immigration authorities when he attempts to return to the U.S., culminating in a struggle for temporary humanitarian parole that garners national media attention.
Interweaving poignant scenes from childhood home movies with intimate family discussions of mortality, Guerrero crafts a narrative of migration and loss. Touching on topics ranging from the indeterminacies of immigration status, familial memory, and traditional medicine, Rocío locates the core of its emotional narrative at the intersection of private experience and political reality.