Three separate real-life stories about people persecuted or marginalized by the powers that govern them are brought together in this powerful documentary from Spain. In the first segment, "The Child," we are introduced to Guinder Rodriguez, an 11-year-old boy from Peru who holds down a full-time job digging out limestone to be used in construction. Despite his grim circumstances, Guinder struggles to maintain a positive outlook and tries to take pride in his work. In "The Word," Turkish expatriate Mehdi Zana, once the mayor of a Kurdish community, now lives in Sweden, where he lobbies for the release of his wife Leyla Zana, a well-respected Kurdish peace activist jailed on political charges. Leyla and Medhi have been married for 24 years, but due to her status as a political prisoner, have spent less than five years together. And in "Life," Tomas Rangel is an immigrant from Mexico whose son has been sentenced to death in Texas. As Rangel asks authorities to show mercy on his son, Thomas Miller-El, a prisoner on death row whose guilt has been called into question discusses his feelings about life as a condemned man. A critical and commercial success in Spain, La Espalda Del Mundo was shown to an enthusiastic reception at the 2000 San Sebastian Film Festival.
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