Alum Jose Antonio Vargas' Documentary Succeeds in 'Pulling Heartstrings'

May 2, 2014

HOLLYWOOD REPORTER -- The issue of illegal immigrants or, as this film would pointedly have it, undocumented Americans, is given a very human face in Jose Antonio Vargas’ documentary about his own undocumented status despite living in this country for 20 years and forging a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalism career. Co-directed by Ann Lupo, “Documented” is advocacy filmmaking that also manages to succeed in pulling heartstrings. Sent by his mother to live with his U.S. citizen grandparents in California when he was 12 years old, the Philippines-born Vargas grew up without any knowledge that he was in fact here illegally, only finding out when he applied for a driver’s license with false identification papers. He nonetheless attended San Francisco State University and went on to become a journalist writing for such publications as the Washington Post, winning a Pulitzer for his contributions to the team that reported on the 2007 Virginia Tech University massacre.