Episode 71: The Undocumented Document Themselves with Set Hernandez Rongkilyo

This week, from deep in the San Fernando Valley, we’re joined by filmmaker Set Hernandez Rongkilyo. A passionate storyteller from a young age, Set’s early love of Anime and desire to be an animator transitioned into becoming a passionate storyteller, through documentary film and now other forms as well. Set discusses their resistance to approaching documentary subjects from a supposedly neutral perspective, as well as the tropes of tragedy porn and binary narratives of the undocumented immigrant experience, and highlights some key influences and inspirations for the way they’ve worked differently in their film COVER/AGE and continue to do so with work-in-progress Unseen. They also detail their work with the Undocumented Filmmakers Collective, striving to increase representation behind as well as in front of the camera, and in the audience, leaving us with the beautiful thought that storytelling is not just an act of imagination, but also an act of remembering.

Here are some of the references from this episode, for those who want to dig a little deeper:

“Nobody in the world, nobody in history, has ever gotten their freedom by appealing to the moral sense of the people who were oppressing them.” ― Assata Shakur, from Assata: An Autobiography

The move to decolonize documentary
The complicated story of Nanook of the North
Episode 70: with Sue Ding
Film: Jaddoland

Disclosure – documentary by Sam Feder

The North Star – Frederick Douglas newspaper
Black Panther Newspaper


Favianna RodriquezCenter for Cultural Power
Sasha Costanza-Chock: Out of the Shadows, Into the Streets
By Any Media Necessary – DREAMing Citizenship
Julio Selgado and Jesús Iñiguez: Dreamers AdriftUndocumented and Awkward
Tam Tran films:  Lost and Found; Seattle Underground Railroad
Undocumedia Nancy Meza
The Undeportables sketch comedy
Miko Revereza experimental documentary
Alan Pelaez Lopez spoken word/visual artist

Undocumented Filmmakers Collective
Boyhood, Richard Linklater’s film 12 years in the making
Getting Real – Int’l Doc Assn conference
Firelight Media
Netflix series: Living Undocumented
Rahi Hasan, UFC co-founder
UFC Panel at Black Star Film Festival

Decolonizing Methodologies by Linda Tuhiwai Smith

India’s Grassroots Comics
Stacy Smith’s Annenberg Inclusion Initiative research
Episode 25: Why do we need more critics of color? (with Jeff Yang & Mauricio Mota)
Episode 26: Reimagining the ecology of cultural criticism (with Elizabeth Mendez Berry & Carolina A. Miranda)
Episode 27: Critics of color: The added value of subtleties (with Eric Deggans)

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“In Time” by Dylan Emmett and “Spaceship” by Lesion X.
In Time (Instrumental) by Dylan Emmet  https://soundcloud.com/dylanemmet
Spaceship by Lesion X https://soundcloud.com/lesionxbeats
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