Torn From Her Arms (2021 Lifetime)

Torn From Her Arms (2021 Lifetime)

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Cast: Judy Reyes, Gloria Reuben, Eduardo Victoria, Daniel Martínez

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Synopsis (via Lifetime)

Based on a true story. Amidst the ongoing crisis at the U.S. border, this timely film depicts the harrowing true story of a mother and daughter who must find their way back to each other after being separated. Cindy and her six-year-old daughter, Ximena, fled violence in El Salvador, only to be separated at the border as a part of the Administration’s Zero Tolerance Policy.

Recap/Wine Thoughts

 The movie begins on the US/Mexico border. A family of five has been walking for 17 days in an attempt to cross the border. They are stopped by police and thrown into a van. The family is separated and taken to a Texas Detention Center. 

Mother and daughter are detained and given space blankets to stay warm through the night. The following day the children are rounded up and removed. Cindy screams at the officers demanding to know where her daughter is being taken. Ximena cries as she is literally dragged away from her mother. Cindy is transferred to another facility, which looks more like a prison. Ximena is sent to a Children’s facility, which looks terrifying. 

Public Defender Thelma Garcia is a working mother with a loving husband, Alejandro, and an animal-loving daughter, Angelica. She helps immigrants migrate into the country. Every day is a battle for her in court, keeping families together. It is heartbreaking and taxing work. She is assigned to Cindy’s case and promises to help Cindy find her daughter. That proves more complicated because none of the government detention centers talk with one another. 

The guards at both facilities seem to be baffled by the mandates coming down from higher-ups. One female guard is particularly heartbroken and horrified at the treatment of the children. 

Ginger Thompson is a reporter for ProPublica who is overworked and looking forward to a vacation. That is until she gets a whistler blower call from a guard named Stella in the Children’s facility. Ginger breaks the story and sparks a national outcry. Next, Ginger looks to track down Ximena’s aunt and cancels her vacation. 

When Thelma sees the news story, she tells Cindy that they found her daughter. They work together to use the court system to reunite them. A task that seems impossible. 

Thelma and Ginger team up to help Cindy and Ximena reunite. They succeed pretty quickly at getting them on the phone together. It is a small victory and heartbreaking to watch. Next, Cindy and Ximena’s story makes the national press, and the spotlight expedites the case. 

The caseworker questions Cindy without her attorney present and tells them about being involved with a gang member back in El Salvador. She left the country because the gang members and police affiliated with the gang were stalking and harassing her and her daughter. 

The testification works, and Cindy is released into the custody of Thelma and Ginger. Cindy has to take a DNA test to prove that Ximena is her daughter before they are reunited. 

Before Cindy can get to her daughter in Phoenix, Ximena is relocated to Huston. Cindy, Thelma, and Ginger take turns driving shifts to intercept Ximena in Huston. 

The mother and daughter are reunited. Other families haven’t been so lucky. 

Side Note

Minority Report: The cast features mostly LatinX Actors. 

Based on True Events. ‘Torn From Her Arms’ is based on the story of Cindy Madrid and her daughter.

I liked that the movie features Spanish with English subtitles, rather than just having the characters speak perfect English.

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*Photo Credit: © 2021 Lifetime® | A+E Networks®

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