The DJ mix of Aloe Blacc’s song “Wake Me Up” was the #1 song around the world in 2013.
For the acoustic version, Aloe wanted to connect the song’s lyrics, which speak of hope and struggle, to the fight for justice and freedom for immigrants in America.
Through the National Day Laborer Organizing Network Alex Rivera proposed a story to Aloe Blacc that would turn the themes in the song into a specific story told in pictures. The result, the follow up to La Santa Cecilia’s ICE/El Hielo is another mini-film, again made in collaboration with a cast of mostly undocumented actors, some actively fighting deportation. While “ICE/El Hielo” focused on the tragedy brought on by a workplace raid, “Wake Me Up” focuses on the life journey that leads a young woman to stand up to the systems of control around her.
“Wake Me Up,” a unique collaboration between a musician, a filmmaker, and a grassroots community organization, is an example of the type of cultural production only possibly at the exact crossroads of cinema and activism.