The story of the events and circumstances that led David Riker (La Ciudad) to write and direct The Girl are compelling, and it was recently announced that Riker will tell this story in a series of five video “milestones” to be published in the weeks leading up to the theatrical release of The Girl. The first milestone had an exclusive premiere on IndieWire/The Playlist this week.
David Riker’s The Girl is the story of a single mother trapped in the quicksand of her south Texas life. Struggling with the loss of her child to Social Services, she is unwilling to accept the consequences of her actions. When her path collides with a young child from Mexico, she begins a journey that will change her life — teaching her that she is the architect of her own fate and learning what it is that truly defines home.
Riker’s first milestone, “The River,” is a three-minute clip in which the director takes his audience back to the place where his research for The Girl began — the part of the Río Grande between Nuevo Laredo and Laredo, Texas. “I was struck by how close those two worlds were, but also how far apart,” Riker explains. “I was drawn to the river because of its dramatic possibilities and also its poetic quality.”
In the video, Riker introduces a Mexican fireman named Armando, who over the years had pulled more than 600 bodies from the river with his own hands. It was during this time on the river with Armando that the sparks of inspiration for The Girl were created. “What does it mean to make such a journey,” Riker asks, “and what does it mean to be left behind?”
The Girl, scheduled to open in theaters in March, is the result of more than a decade’s worth of real-life experiences Riker has had with immigrants in the United States, on scores of trips back and forth across the US-Mexican border.