Reported by Liku Zelleke
BET’s Rocsi Diaz has come forward with her directorial debut, “The Secrets of Strangers” – a public service announcement that tells the stories of undocumented immigrants in the US as they share their illegal status with total strangers.
Diaz, who was the former host of “106th & Park“, is making the public announcement videos in commemoration of the first annual Immigrant Heritage Month that will be celebrated every year in June. The idea was conceived by Welcome.us to encourage as many Americans as possible to share their stories of how they were first welcome into the American experience.
The first of three videos has already been released and uploaded to YouTube. The producers of the videos include stars and celebrities like actor Jeremy Irons, “Glee” star Naya Rivera, Guillermo Diaz of “Scandal” fame and magician David Blaine. Specials appearances include that by Sally Field, Jamie-Lynn Sigler and Skylar Grey and many more.
The video captures the raw emotions of people as they share their most intimate secret – that of being illegal – and what life is like for them in the United States.
In the video, the people first introduce themselves. The nervousness and uneasiness is quite visible in almost all the introductions. Although there are smiles on the people’s faces, the apprehension and dread never leaves them.
Slowly, the people warm up to one another. They are relaxed and the conversation flows better.
Then the secrets are bared and brought out into the open; half of the people have no papers and have been in the US for up to 26 years. They talk about how their parents are coping and how they too have to struggle to make it through every single day.
By the end of the video, it is almost like the people have known each other for a long time and have been intimate friends all the while.
If you can keep your eyes dry after even half of the video has run, then you should probably see it over and over again, until you do get it.