The new film Blue Bayou, in theaters Friday, takes on an issue many people don’t know is an issue: kids brought to the U.S., adopted from other countries who, as adults, think they’re citizens until they’re told they’re being deported.

Alicia Vikander who stars in the film, tells ABC Audio she had “no clue” this was happening in real life and immediately dove into researching the topic after reading the script. 

“I think the first thing I did was to bring up my phone and start Googling because I literally I couldn’t believe that this was a reality because it doesn’t make any sense,” she says.

While some may think the issue is a political one, for Vikander, it’s about humanity. 

“With these families, they’re kind of met by this issue that I think everyone, like no one agrees — it’s not even like immigration politics because they’ve legally come into the country already,” she expresses. “So it just doesn’t make any sense for anyone, you know?”

For Blue Bayou writer and director Justin Chon, this issue is one that he’s had a close connection to, explaining to ABC Audio that it’s based on stories happening to people he knows and “this film is for them.”

Ultimately, though, Chon, who also stars in the film as one of these adults, named Antonio, says he hopes the film sheds some light on a heartbreaking story.

“One of my biggest goals was to bring empathy to somebody who was going through this process. I didn’t want it to feel like propaganda,” he shares. “Hence Antonio is not a perfect human being. He’s flawed, as we all are. And I just wanted to feel just so relatable, so tangible, so visceral. I wanted it to be hard to look away.”  

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