Directed by Bill Ross IV, Turner Ross • Documentary • With Chad Foster, Martin Wall, Brylyn Wall • 2015 • 92 minutes
In Eagle Pass, Texas, where the U.S. and Mexico meet along the Rio Grande, a cattleman and the mayor face the dawn of a new reality. In the matter of a few turbulent months, the specter of cartel violence begins to loom from upriver, leading to an indefinite border closure and its rippling consequences on the homefront. Martín Wall’s livelihood depends on bringing cattle across the border to market, and his frustrations grow by the day as he reflects on supporting his young daughter. Meanwhile, Eagle Pass Mayor Chad Foster, a proud champion of the region, strives to convince the people (and perhaps himself) that the communities along the border can remain close and harmonious. Amongst these struggles, a rich tapestry of life along the border emerges: we behold on the dusty plains an aspiring rodeo hero, a spirited bullfight, the chatter of old-timers at a greasy spoon, the vigilance of a retired Border Patrolman at the Rio, plentiful mariachi music, and the kind of frequent and vigorous celebration that’s inseparable from living on the edge of the frontier as the world changes. In WESTERN, the Ross brothers navigate the mythic terrain of the American West, capturing human moments, dramatic stories, and the lived experience of life on the border.