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    FILM & VIDEO

    Docs-In-Progress: THE ROAD TO LIVINGSTON

    Presented by at AFS Screening Room

    January 29, 2013


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    Docs-In-Progress: THE ROAD TO LIVINGSTON

    Delia Perez-Meyer, an elementary school teacher, has taken a weeklyjourney from the classroom to death row for the past 12 years. She tells ofher personal voyage, beginning from a place of frustration to acceptanceand hopeful activism.

    Over the years, Delia has formed lasting relationships with people she’s met along the way to Livingston, Texas. Whether it be at gas stations,or the Mexican restaurant she stops at for...

    Delia Perez-Meyer, an elementary school teacher, has taken a weeklyjourney from the classroom to death row for the past 12 years. She tells ofher personal voyage, beginning from a place of frustration to acceptanceand hopeful activism.

    Over the years, Delia has formed lasting relationships with people she’s met along the way to Livingston, Texas. Whether it be at gas stations,or the Mexican restaurant she stops at for lunch, these familiar faces have evolved into something more. Being the only family member to regularly visit her brother Louis, she’s been forced to create a new family, all somehow tied to death row.

    We encounter worlds we never knew existed, including a group of European women who, through letters and occasional visits, fall in love with inmates. We witness a wedding of a Dutch woman to inmate Kenneth Foster, performed at a local radio station. At first, this ceremony seems surreal and farcical, but as the vows are read, there’s no doubt as to the sincere emotion conveyed over the airwaves to the unseen groom. Through Delia's interactions we learn more about why these women voluntarily enter this world, and how powerful a non-physical relationship can be.

    These women serve as messengers of the harsh conditions inmates experience daily, like the absence of fruit and vegetables. Delia buys severely marked-up fruit in the visiting room vending machines so Louis can have something other than his usual gruel-like fare. Art supplies are banned on death row, but despite not having conventional tools at their disposal, Louis and inmate friend Tony, manage to make art and share it with the world. Delia and Tony’s mother, Golda, organize art shows to honor their work and raise awareness.

    We witness Delia's struggle to exonerate her brother of a crime she claims he did not commit. Louis blames the murder of two women and a little girl on the Texas "Railroad Killer" of the mid-nineties. Foreign DNA from the crime scene, if tested, could prove Louis' innocence. Delia fights to overcome obstacles put forth by what she believes to be an inherently flawed legal system. She’s not the only person we meet on this journey who tells a similar story of a wrongful sentence, disregard of evidence,and failure of the system to give a fair trial. The bond Delia creates with people who share her plight gives her the strength to continue on.

    This film offers a glimpse into the world of those touched by death row. This film shows the life-long ramifications dealt to families, friends, lovers and the communities surrounding the prison who rely on death row fortheir own means of living. Seen by society as already as good as dead, these communities are trying to beat the clock to save their loved ones from death. With most prisoners on death row for less than 10 years before they’re executed, Delia, with as many years of trips behind her, races to save her brother on the road to Livingston.


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