"Four Motherless Children"


This film continues where the “Discovery of Santos”; the second documentary in the “El Gringo Schindler” series left off. The third movie tells the heartbreaking story of four children, all minors and citizens of the United States, forced to fend for themselves for eleven months while their mother found herself exiled in El Salvador for making a simple human error. The mother broke no immigration law but simply read an immigration form wrong. The fact that the mother had already been in the United States for seventeen years under “Temporary Protected Status” and her renewal for an additional year was already approved was completely ignored by the United States Government.

Three of the four minor children had flown with their mother to El Salvador to attend to their grandma who had suffered a serious heart-attack. Little did anyone expect that on the day of return to the United States, the three children would be forced to fly to the United States, as unescorted minors. Their mother was left behind, in total disbelief, not knowing how she was going to get back to the United States. The error made by the mother was simple and could have easily been fixed in El Salvador by the United States Government with a phone call. Instead, an odyssey that would last nearly eleven months was about to play out. The children endured living alone until they heard about the work of the “El Gringo Schindler” on television and made their way to his office on a Saturday, not knowing if the “El Gringo Schindler” would even be in his office. The children knew better than to skip school during the week when the “El Gringo Schindler” and his staff would be available to help. By some miracle, the “El Gringo Schindler” just happened to be in his office for a few minutes when the children arrived. Upon hearing the story of the children, the “El Gringo Schindler” made a pledge to the children that he would get their mom home no matter what it took. At the time, the “El Gringo Schindler” had no idea that his efforts would test every bit of knowledge he possessed about immigration and put his own personal safety in jeopardy to deliver his promise on New Year’s Day, 2016.

The “El Gringo Schindler” began a daring rescue trip to El Salvador a few days before New Year’s Day. The story of the rescue leaves most people who learn of it speechless. Few people have the knowledge and courage to endure what the “El Gringo Schindler” went through. The trip would prove to be one hundred times harder than the first rescue trip he made in May of 2015; to rescue Alexis Marroquin and reunite him with his family in the United States. The second trip found the “El Gringo Schindler” cutoff from most of the government offices of both El Salvador and the United States because of the holidays. The “El Gringo Schindler” was dealing with staff that refused to make simple decisions; despite the fact that he found himself trapped in a gang infested area. What ended up being a “James Bond” type action on New Year’s Day enabled the “El Gringo Schindler” to reunite mother and children. The movie gives detailed glimpses into the events of that day without telling exactly what happened. The actual events remain highly classified. In the end, the excitement of the reunion provides proof positive that the work of the "El Gringo Schindler" is justified and truly an act of humanity.

The movie will run approximately 53 minutes in length and is a departure from the previous “El Gringo Schindler” series documentary style movies. This movie is filmed with reenactments and actual footage whenever possible. The use of “voice over” is also introduced into the film. Nearly ninety percent of reenactments are filmed by the actual participants. While appearing to be a drama movie; the film is a true documentary that will run for approximately 43 minutes. The film was made in both the United States and El Salvador. “a RALPH ISENBERG PRODUCTION” is pleased to announce the fourth movie in the “El Gringo Schindler” is already in production. The movie is entitled “The Bread-maker and the Police Woman / La máquina y la Mujer de la Policía. Plans call for the release of this film before the end of the year. Two other movies in the series are also being planned at this time.


  • Ralph Isenberg
    El Gringo Schindler
  • Ralph Isenberg
    El Gringo Schindler
  • Ralph Isenberg
    El Gringo Schindler
  • Ralph Isenberg
    Key Cast
    "El Gringo Schindler"
    Four Motherless Children
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Feature
  • Runtime:
    49 minutes 34 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    25,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    El Salvador, United States
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
    24 FPS
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • BLASTOFF Film Festival (Screening)
    Los Angles, CA
    United States
    Worldwide Screening
  • Strong Chance Film Festival (Screening)
    New York City, NY
    United States
    New York City
  • Miracle Makers International Film Festival
    Las Vegas, NV
    United States
    Las Vegas, NV
  • 4th Dimension Independent Film Festival (Screening)
    Finalist Documentary Feature
  • Aquarius Film Festival (Screening)
    Las Vegas, NV
    United States
  • Kids First! Film Festival (Screening)
    Santa Fe, NM
    United States
    Fall 2021
    Selected for Distribution
  • Brazil International Film Festival (Screening)
    Rio de Janeiro
    Brazil - Worldwide
    Honorable Mention
  • Colorado Activism Film Festival (Screening)
    Denver, CO
    United States
    Denver, CO- Worldwide
  • New Wave Short Film Festival (winner)
    7/21 Best Human Rights 5/2021 Best Documentary Feature
  • Gangtok International Film Festival (winner)
    June 2021 Best Documentary
Distribution Information
  • Kids First! Film Festival
    Country: Worldwide
    Rights: All Rights
Director Biography - Ralph Isenberg

Ralph Isenberg is the El Gringo Schindler. Isenberg has no formal filmmaking experience. After successful careers in hotel & restaurant management and commercial real estate development, Isenberg turned his attention to immigration reform. His efforts derive from heritage and experience. The oldest son of refugees from Nazi Germany, Isenberg learned from an early age to be mindful of the plight of others. A life-changing experience with extreme family separation of his own transformed Isenberg into a protagonist whose activism has benefited scores of foreign national families in need. With no legal training, Isenberg can make the most complex arguments to those that oppose the reforms he seeks for others. The efforts put forth by El Gringo Schindler are unpredictable as he strives to make those he opposes feel uncomfortable.

When the government sought to restrict the advocacy work of Isenberg, he started making films. His documentaries are both informative and dramatic. He films in real-time whenever possible. Isenberg features the people he is helping as part of recreation scenes. Isenberg plays an active role in each of his films. His films encourage social change and educate the populous about immigration wrongs.

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Director Statement

"It has been my humble honor to save one starfish at a time in hopes that humanity will one day cease to stumble upon a beach of starfish in need." Ralph Isenberg is El Gringo Schindler

"It is right. It is wrong. Then there is the right thing to do." unknown

"The rest is silence" William Shakespeare from Hamlet