100 Ways to Cross the Border

(100 Ways to Cross the Border)
Amber Bemak | Documentary

2022 | 84 minutes | United States, Mexico

An exploration of the 40-year career of performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña as he enacts interventions by “queering the border” — claiming all borders as queer and liminal spaces.


At a time when there is more and more news in the mainstream media about the U.S.-Mexico border, 100 Ways to Cross the Border (2022) presents the work and philosophical frameworks of an artist who has had a sustained dedication to radical, highly impactful, and innovative artistic interventions on the border. This vibrant documentary explores the 40-year career of prolific Latinx performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña as he enacts his interventions by “queering the border” — claiming all borders as queer and liminal spaces.

‘I’ve been fighting to control my image for only 40 years and the fight never ends!’, notes Gómez-Peña ironically, turning the camera for a moment on the film’s director Amber Bay Bemak, reversing the gaze. The moment encapsulates their life as a Mexican/Chicanx performance artist, activist, and founder of the trans-disciplinary arts organization La Pocha Nostra (LPN), as well as Bemak’s approach as a documentary filmmaker.

Gómez-Peña and Bemak attempt to queer all sorts of borders – not only territorial but also those relating to race, gender, sexuality, and even filmmaking. With intimacy and honesty, this film shares Gómez-Peña and LPN’s ethos and practice, creating an open space for collaboration both behind and in front of the camera, resulting in a work that embodies LPN’s multi-centric and fluid approach to narrative.

An ideal film to screen during Hispanic Heritage Month, 100 Ways to Cross the Border celebrates Gómez-Peña and the contributions his radical, queer, anti-colonial art has made to conversations around border thinking, gender politics, and Latinx identity.

Original score by Guillermo Galindo.

Main credits

Bemak, Amber (film director)
Bemak, Amber (screenwriter)
Bemak, Amber (film producer)
Gómez-Peña, Guillermo (screenwriter)
Gómez-Peña, Guillermo (on-screen participant)
Houchens, Andrew (film producer)

Other credits

Cinematography, Alicia Aguierre, Amber Bemak, Mariana Ochoa; editing, Miguel Schverdfinger; music, Guillermo Gallindo.

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BFI Flare: London LGBTQIA Film Festival; Athens International Film and Video Festival; Lost River Film Festival; Up and Down the River; Territori Performance Festival; Houston Cinema Arts Festival; BFI London International Film Festival; Guanajuato International Film Festival; BAMcinemafest; DocLisboa; Carnegie Museum of Art; Amherst Cinema -  Bellwether Series; Newfest Presents

DIRECTOR: Amber Bemak

NATIONALITY: United States, Mexico

YEAR: 2022

GENRE: Documentary

LANGUAGE: Spanish; English

COLOR / B&W: Color

GRADE LEVEL: College, Adults



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