What We Leave Behind


For 20 years, Julián Moreno has traveled from Mexico to the United States to see his family once a month, staying only a few days before heading home. As Julián is getting older, his granddaughter decides to join him in Mexico, seeing an opportunity to become better acquainted with this man whose presence she’s always felt but who has remained elusive. Over the course of her visits, Julián begins to build a house next door to the one he shares with his son, Jorge, determined to complete the project.

Director Iliana Sosa’s portrait of her grandfather is a visual love letter composed of simple but expressive exchanges in which she carefully poses questions about his life. The lens intimately observes the texture of the skin on his hands, the dust embedded on his shoes. He gently answers her, describing the loss of his wife, what it meant for his children to move away, and his experiences of working across the border. As they wade into the memories of his life, sitting together in silence becomes equally meaningful in this moving reflection on family, distance, legacy, and the places we call home.  ST


Filmmaker Q&A available

Closed captioning available

This film is only available to viewers in the United States


Iliana Sosa


Emma D. Miller, Iliana Sosa


Isidore Bethel


Isidore Bethel


Iliana Sosa, Judy Phu, Monica Wise

Original Title

Lo que dejamos atrás

Release Year


Festival Year



United States, Mexico

Run Time

71 minutes