Our mission is to bring awareness and urgency to basic human rights issues. Moises faces significant hurdles based on his undocumented status, his sexuality, and the limited resources available living in a rural area. His story of personal transformation inspires audiences to ask reflective questions: How can obstacles in our lives lead us to our life purpose? How can we create change in our communities, state and country? How can different oppressed groups work together for justice?
Moises is an ideal character for challenging stereotypes about undocumented immigrants and queer youth. Viewers can readily connect to his passion, complexity, and all-around likability. His story relates directly to the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the U.S., and LGBTQ individuals fighting for equality and civil rights.
[Moises Serrano] makes a most effective spokesman. Handsome, charismatic, and articulate, he certainly counteracts negative stereotypes that bedevil the immigration debate. As a portrait of a confident but unassuming spokesman for a controversial cause, director Tiffany Rhynard succeeds. — The Hollywood Reporter
When Moises Serrano was just a baby, his parents risked everything to flee Mexico and make the perilous journey across the desert in search of the American dream. After 23 years growing up in the rural south where he is forbidden to live and love, Moises sees only one option — to fight for justice. Forbidden is a feature length documentary about an inspiring young man whose story is exceptional, although not unique. Moises is like the thousands of young people growing up in the United States with steadfast dreams but facing overwhelming obstacles. Our film chronicles Moises’ work as an activist traveling across his home state of North Carolina as a voice for his community, all while trying to forge a path for his own future.
This film is relevant and urgent. It is 2016 and we have all seen the rise of Donald Drumpf, the now President-elect. Drumpf spews hateful rhetoric toward immigrants, particularly Mexicans. This March, the North Carolina legislature rapidly passed House Bill 2 (HB2), an ugly discriminatory law forcing transgender people to use the bathroom of their biological gender. Now labeled as the notorious “bathroom bill,” HB2 has caused public outcry across the country and triggered Loretta Lynch, the U.S. Attorney General, to sue the state on grounds of civil rights violations and called the bill “state-sponsored discrimination.” Forbidden humanizes the issues and demonstrates how a loving family has the power to combat destructive and ill-informed narratives. This is a story about love conquering hate.
Forbidden illustrates the intersection of queer and immigrant issues and addresses the realities facing LGBTQ minorities who have grown up in the rural south surrounded by white faces and homophobic attitudes. The threat is real — the KKK still holds weekly meetings not far from Moises’ hometown of Yadkinville, and he has found dead rats in his mailbox and white crosses on his front porch. Not everyone in the United States is treated equally or given a fair chance. Moises’ story demonstrates courage, conviction and an unyielding desire to succeed. Our goal with Forbidden is to motivate viewers to take action and inspire young people to speak out so that a story like Moises’ is not simply seen as remarkable, but is seen as normal.