An artist’s journey from homelessness to the Academy Awards
Forced to make life decisions that a child should not have to face.
INOCENTE is an intensely personal and vibrant coming of age documentary about a young artist’s fierce determination to never surrender to the bleakness of her surroundings.
At 15, Inocente refuses to let her dream of becoming an artist be caged by her life as an undocumented immigrant forced to live homeless for the last nine years. Color is her personal revolution and its extraordinary sweep on her canvases creates a world that looks nothing like her own dark past — a past punctuated by a father deported for domestic abuse, an alcoholic and defeated mother of four who once took her daughter by the hand to jump off a bridge together, an endless shuffle year after year through the city’s overcrowded homeless shelters and the constant threat of deportation.
Despite this history, Inocente’s eyes envision a world transformed…where buildings drip in yellow and orange, where pink and turquoise planets twinkle with rescued dreams, and one-eyed childlike creatures play amongst loved babies and purple clouds. Inocente’s family history is slowly revealed through her paintings.
Inocente’s story proves that the hand she has been dealt does not define her, her dreams do.Told entirely in her own words, we come to Inocente’s story as she realizes her life is at a turning point, and for the first time, she decides to take control of her own destiny. Irreverent, flawed and funny, she’s now channeling her irrepressible personality into a future she controls. Her talent has finally been noticed, and if she can create a body of work in time, she has an opportunity to put on her first art show. Meanwhile, her family life is at a tense impasse—if she legally emancipates herself from her mother to strike out on her own, she’ll risk placing her brothers in foster care, but to stay is unbearable.
INOCENTE is both a timeless story about the transformative power of art and a timely snapshot of the new face of homelessness in America, children. Neither sentimental nor sensational, INOCENTE will immerse you in the very real, day-to-day existence of a young girl who is battling a war that we rarely see. The challenges are staggering, but the hope in Inocente’s story proves that the hand she has been dealt does not define her, her dreams do.
Since working on the documentary, Izucar, now 19, moved into her own apartment — which she shares with her two adopted pet bunnies — and she had a successful art show in New York City .
Since the economic crash of 2008, the homeless population is exploding and families are its fastest growing segment. The INOCENTE documentary gives you a rare glimpse inside the struggle of how one of the 1.5 million homeless children in the U.S. is living today – the largest and fastest growing group of them being the undocumented.
Children are the new face of homelessness in our country and yet they remain faceless. For most of these children, it is a shameful secret— which is why, despite their incredible numbers, you see so few homeless children on the street and you so rarely hear their stories.
Homeless kids are twice as likely to experience anxiety and depression than non-homeless children and 1 in 6 will develop emotional problems. Twenty-five percent witness violence in their homes. To compound the crisis, the social services that serve the homeless are being cut. It’s the perfect storm of desperation and chaos for the kids caught in the spiral.
Ways to Take Action: www.inocentedoc.com