Eli Ruth-Cheff

El Lugar y el Dolor


A note about the film:

The short documentary that I made in collaboration with my subject Jesús Arney León Monsalve (Neyo) is entitled “El Lugar y el Dolor”. The title came from a beautiful poem that Neyo wrote which tackled some of the same issues I tried to highlight through the film, namely citizenship, patriotism, and the importance of community.

Neyo is an extremely articulate and passionate man, and I tried to capture these qualities on the big screen. I hoped to provide a brief snapshot of Neyo’s life and his journey from Mérida, Venezuela to Eugene, Oregon and his recent decision to apply for citizenship after 14 years in the U.S.

Neyo carries the lessons that he learned from his time in Mérida with him to this day and is an active member of the Eugene community as a volunteer firefighter, dedicated husband and father, and advocate for justice. Neyo seems to transcend conventional conceptions of citizenship and vows to continue to fight for what he believes, regardless of the color of his passport.