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Underwater Dreams is an inspirational documentary written and directed by Mary Mazzio. It is an underdog (true) story about poor, undocumented immigrant high school kids who enter and win an underwater robotics competition against university teams, including MIT. The film runs 86 minutes, so it's perfect for a block class. The film will hold kids' interest throughout. It discusses the robotics team members' personal struggles and what it's like to come to the US as undocumented children, their work ethic and problem-solving abilities with the robot, and the legacy that they left in their community.
I would recommend this movie for high school kids (and maybe very mature 8th graders) because it has a few mild cuss words and mentions tampons (they use tampons as a creative solution to water leaks in the robot). It also might be controversial because it takes a pro-immigrant position, particularly in regard to DREAMers. Overall, this is a touching, entertaining movie, and the story is beautiful and inspiring. It gives a face and a personality to the "undocumented immigrant," but even without the political component, it's simply a great story. The film is available to stream on Amazon and iTunes.
My film guide has 42 questions that go in order throughout the film. It has a few questions that refer to Spanish words. (Social studies teachers might want to delete those questions.) For Spanish teachers, the issue of what to do about undocumented Spanish-speakers in the US could be tied to World Language cultural standards.