From its very first scene, the music video for Jessie Reyez’s “Far Away” seems primed for something sinister — yet it’s not immediately clear what’s being threatened. Instead, there’s a television screen humming with static, Reyez dancing with long chains draping her body, and her lover looking on with a flat stare. But soon enough, the circumstances are made clear: “You’re still a world away / And you’re still waitin’ for your papers / Been feeling like the government wants us to break up,” Reyez sings on the first verse. This is not just any long-distance relationship; it’s one regulated by ICE in America.
In the moments that follow, Reyez’s “Far Away” video continues to shed light on the harrowing experience of ICE raids and family deportation. The television screen swaps its static for images of Donald Trump and border wall supporters, and soon after, Reyez remembers the day her partner was seized by ICE at a party. Tear gas, taser flashes, and pointed guns all make an appearance, showing the severity of what immigrants must come to fear in this country even during what is supposed to be a peaceful family gathering. “Far Away” does not shy away from these devastating consequences — instead, it continues to draw allusions in moments of suffering (there is even a nod to La Virgencita cradling her murdered son).
The video, which premiered October 4, was also accompanied by a website where visitors can find information on and donate to organizations that protect immigrant rights, such as the ACLU, Al Otro Lado and The Florence Project.
Watch the video here: