Far West – The Hidden History

Far West – The Hidden History
2021, 55-minute documentary film

Co-directed by Mathilde Damoisel and Tomas van Houtryve

Based on the book Lines and Lineage by Tomas van Houtryve

First broadcast Sunday, 9 January 2022 on France 5.


Photographer Tomas van Houtryve confronts America’s collective amnesia and reveals the hidden legacy of the Far West. At a time when the US has reinforced a wall that isolates it from Latin America, the photographer retraces another border, the one that existed before 1848, when the US military invaded and occupied the northern Mexican territories that are known today as the states of Texas, California, Colorado, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico. He meets and photographs the descendants of families that have lived in these lands since long before the American conquest: indigenous, black and mestizo families that never crossed the border – the border crossed them. Rendered strangers in their own land, they push back on the founding myths of the American Frontier and contribute their own overlooked stories to our common history.

Producer : Les Films d’Ici – Martine Saada
Production manager: Nicolas Lebecque
Editing: Alexandre Auque
Original soundtrack: Fabien Bourdier
Sound Mix: Matthieu Cochin
Available language versions: English & Français
International sales : Arte Distribution