Sansón and Me

From Pelican Bay State Prison, Sansón’s life is defined by borders—between Mexico and the U.S., fact and fiction, personal choice and systemic force.

Funding Initiative
Open Call

Rodrigo Reyes

Rodrigo Reyes has received the support of Tribeca Film Institute, Sundance Institute, California Humanities Council, Film Independent, IFP Narrative and Documentary Labs, the Mexican Film Institute, and more. In 2015, his documentary Purgatorio was selected as the Season Premiere for America ReFramed. In 2017, Rodrigo was selected for the Show more Spotlight on Storytellers Award by Sundance Institute and was named a Guggenheim Fellow. Show less


Su Kim

Su Kim is a Korean-American producer based in New York City. She is entrepreneurial, creative and committed to crafting compelling stories and supporting independent filmmakers. Her films in release include the Sundance Film Festival premiere Kimjongilia (dir. NC Heikin), Adama (dir. David Felix Sutcliffe) supported by ITVS, and Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story Show more (dir. NC Heikin). As a producer, she has been awarded CPB/PBS Producers Workshop Scholarship as well as numerous grants from ITVS, the Sundance Documentary Film Program, NYSCA, Tribeca Film Institute and the US State Department. In 2014 she was selected along with five other women filmmakers as a Fellow for the Sundance Institute Women’s Initiative. She is currently producing One Bullet Afghanistan (dir. Carol Dysinger), Sansón and Me, and Lupe Under the Sun (dir. Rodrigo Reyes) and Hale County This Morning, This Evening. Show less

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The Film

Set in rural California and Mexico’s Pacific coast, Director Rodrigo Reyes' documentary is a moving portrait of the unlikely friendship of two Mexican migrants, told within the frame of the dramatic clash between systemic forces and personal choices that envelop young, incarcerated men of color in America.

Sansón’s life is defined by borders—between Mexico and the United States, between freedom and incarceration, between fact and fiction. While serving two life sentences for first-degree murder in Pelican Bay State Prison, Sansón grapples with the ways he has traversed these borders, moving from country to country, from rural California to solitary confinement, and from the truths of his life to the mythologies he’s created. A tale told through dramatic reenactments, Sansón and Me recreates a life of multilayered border crossing as told by Sansón to his interpreter-turned-friend, filmmaker Rodrigo Reyes. In vividly portraying Sansón’s life from orphaned Mexican child to American prisoner, Reyes reveals one man’s attempt at reconciling the things that have happened to him and the things he has brought on himself.