A group of American wildlife filmmakers have made an epic journey along the 3200 kilometre US Mexican border to show exactly what's at stake.

The new film The River and the Wall follows the true nature of a place regularly evoked but little understood.

Filmmaker Ben Masters says "to build a wall, or not" is beside the point. Of the 3200 kilometres that span from the Gulf of Mexico to the Baja California, over 2000 is wilderness.

His mission is to show the diversity of the land which earmarked for the controversial construction project and little thought of as more than a line on a map.

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Masters, originally from Texas, has a strong connection to the borderlands. He's also no stranger to adventure.

For his first feature length documentary, Unbranded, Masters and three friends broke and rode wild mustangs from Mexico to Canada.

Returning to Mexico his crew have travelled by bike, horse, foot and kayak through some of the harshest and most otherworldly landscapes in the Americas.

See it for yourself: The US-Mexican 'border' is much spoken of but little understood. Photo / Supplied
See it for yourself: The US-Mexican 'border' is much spoken of but little understood. Photo / Supplied

Joining him is Austin Alvardo, a river guide whose parents came to the states from Guatemala illegally; Filipe DeAndrade, a 'dreamer' from Brazil who moved to Ohio with his mother; heather Mackey, an ecologist from New York's Cornell University; and Jay Kleberg, a fellow Texan on Masters' team.

Texan filmmaker, Ben Masters. Photo / Supplied
Texan filmmaker, Ben Masters. Photo / Supplied

Following the Rio Grande, the Big Bend national park and crossing paths with smugglers and migrants, they follow the shadow of the potential border wall like a trail.
The journey makes for intense viewing.

Rio Grande: Raft master Austin Alvardo paddles film supplies along the border. Photo / Supplied
Rio Grande: Raft master Austin Alvardo paddles film supplies along the border. Photo / Supplied

I've spent a lot of time along the border," Masters told Outside Magazine. "I wanted to see it before they put up their big, ugly behemoth along my backyard."

The idea came to the Texan filmmaker in 2016 while tracking mountain lions through the borderlands.

Interviewing and journeying with those from both metaphorical 'sides' of the wall – the documentary features political figures such as high profile Democrat Beto O'Rourke and border agent turned Republican representative Will Hurd.

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Line in the sand: Masters film shares little seen parts of the wild US-Mexican border. Photo / Supplied
Line in the sand: Masters film shares little seen parts of the wild US-Mexican border. Photo / Supplied

But it is when interviewing those actually living on the demarcation line that the documentary finds its true voice.

Rancher Steve Lamantia whose property comes up against the proposed wall, speaks on camera about the lack of public awareness surrounding the area. "People don't really understand the border," he says. "They don't take the time to come down here and look at it."

The Wall: There are permanent structures along just 1000 of the border's 3200 kilometres. Photo / Supplied
The Wall: There are permanent structures along just 1000 of the border's 3200 kilometres. Photo / Supplied

Masters' The River and the Wall aims to help audiences find that time, and face some startling truths about America's most talked about but misunderstood region.