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Border Incidents: The US-Mexico Border in Film Noir

March 11, 8:00 am - March 22, 5:00 pm

The Dr. Saul and Dorothy Kit Film Noir Festival

Border Incidents: The US-Mexico Border in Film Noir

Programmed by Rob King, Film & Media Studies
Managed by Soheil Rezayazdi, Columbia Film


The abridged, virtual 2021 Dr. Saul and Dorothy Kit Film Noir Festival presents three films set at the US-Mexico border: Anthony Mann’s Border Incident (1949), John Farrow’s Where Danger Lives (1950), and Orson Welles’ Touch of Evil (1958). All films will stream free of charge between March 11-21, 2021.


The border has long been both a third rail in American politics and a recurrent setting in crime fiction. It is a place where goods entering the US can become “contraband” and the citizens of neighboring states “undocumented immigrants.” Yet the border is also a zone where domestic crime seeks its own escape, evading the arm of US law to find safe haven. The border has in this way functioned in American popular culture as a shadow zone where categories of legality and illegality are constructed and reconstructed; a place, one might imagine, ripe for noir.


This virtual festival will culminate with a roundtable discussion with scholars and activists, including  Jonathan Ryan (RAICES), Jonathan Auerbach (University of Maryland), Margarita de Orellana (Artes de México), and Homi Bhabha (Harvard University). Click here to read our in-depth festival introduction.

This festival is funded by a generous gift from alumnus Gordon Kit ’76 (Columbia College), in honor of his parents.

For more information, contact filmnoir@columbia.edu.


March 11, 8:00 am
March 22, 5:00 pm
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Columbia University
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