We’ve all heard certain political blowhards talking about the imminent danger posed by scary, murderous undocumented immigrants. The overwhelming majority of us know that this is total bull. What isn’t so fictional, however, are the numerous brutal hate crimes that we’ve seen carried out against Latino immigrants over the last few years, representing a shocking uptick fueled in no small part by certain red-faced circus clowns dominating the headlines.

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Moved to action by these tragic stories, actor/director Robert Fontaine produced, directed, and starred in the new feature Mi America, which is finally coming to New York theaters after over eight years slogging through development and production. Mi America takes place in a close-knit town in upstate New York where detectives stumble upon the bodies of five Latinos presumably killed months before in a hate crime. As the film flashes back between past and present, Mexican-American Detective Roe Ramírez races to uncover a twisted story of murder and small town intrigue that was generations in the making.

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Mi America’s trailer showcases the film’s solid cinematography, with a warm, hazy upstate light bathing outdoor scenes, juxtaposed with more evocative and genre appropriate low-lit interiors. With the tense string and drum-heavy soundtrack, as well as its fast-paced editing, there’s no question we’re in the territory of a crime-thriller. As for the acting, you may not recognize most of the faces, but you might notice a brief appearance by Broad City‘s Arturo Castro.

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Head down to Manhattan’s Cinema Village this week to see if this timely story has the stuff to go beyond its tragic, ripped-from-the-headlines topicality.

Mi America is playing at the Village East Cinema through October 22, 2015.