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Chicano & Latino Labor Issues

Bracero Stories

Explores the personal experiences of five former 'braceros' who participated in the controversial U.S.-Mexican government bracero program, which granted temporary work contracts to millions of Mexican laborers between 1942 and 1964. Director, editor, Patrick Mullins. Presented at the International Latino Film Festival held in the San Francisco Bay Area. c2008. 56 min.

Factory Farms.

1959 documentary by Harvey Richards. Tells the story of California agriculture, a highly capitalized, sophisticated industry with substandard wage rates that keep its workers in poverty. Documents 1959 labor conditions for farm workers. Produced by the United Packinghouse Workers Union. Dist.: Estuary Press. 1959. 32 min.

Farmers and Farmworkers: The New Harvest

Examines the ongoing negotiations among growers, farmworkers, and teamsters including the impact of the Agricultural Labor Relations Board. United Farm Worker history is traced from the Delano beginnings to the present. An interview with Cesar Chavez is included. California Journal report; 104. 1981. 30 min. [preservation copy];

Farmworkers' Diary

In the farmworker's own words, shows the living conditions, hopes and fears of Mexican migrant farmworkers in California. The documentary captures their dreams and anxieties, their longing for their families and their fear of becoming unemployable as farm mechanizaton increases. Produced by Tony Cisneros and Paul Shain. 1990. 10 min.

God Knows

This documentary follows Celeste who dreams about having a family of her own, children, a husband. But for now her life is mostly about work: Three different jobs are still hardly enough to support Celeste's family back home. Celeste is from Paraguay and she lives in the U.S. illegally. A film by Magdalena Hutter. 2007. 44 min.

Golden Cage: A Story of California's Farmworkers.

The experiences of Mexican farmworkers in California are chronicled. Using historical footage, interviews, newspaper clippings and black-and-white stills, the documentary traces the history of the United Farmworkers Union from the sixties to its current decline. It also examines the impact of the new immigration law. 29 min.

Guatemala: In the Shadow of the Raid

The economic impact of an immigration raid at a meatpacking plant in Postville, Iowa not only has hurt the local economy, but the deported workers and their families in Guatemala. Originally broadcast on PBS (Frontline) on May 11, 2010.

Harvest of Loneliness (Cosecha triste)

Shedding light on the current debate over immigration reform and the use of "guest workers" in American agriculture, this historical documentary examines what was known as the Bracero Program --a system put in place from 1942 to 1964 to recruit Mexican farm laborers for temporary work in the United States. The film presents ample testimony from surviving braceros as well as family members and descendants of these displaced workers, who typically went north expecting not just high wages but also humane treatment and working conditions --expectations that were rarely if ever met.

Invisible Indians: Mixtec Farmworkers in California

This presentation examines the distinct culture of Mixtec Indians from Oaxaca, Mexico, who started to migrate to California in the early 1970's to work in the produce fields. This program focuses on the special skills and values that these people bring to California agriculture jobs and their continuing connection to their communities in Mexico. Also examined are their living conditions in California. 1993. 35 min. [preservation copy]

Justice on the Table

Farmworkers are paying a price to put food on our tables. Excluded from labor laws, they face low wages, harsh working conditions, and a 48-year life expectancy. This documentary listens to farmworkers themselves tell of their treatment in Oregon's fields, and highlights their contributions to regional and national economic prosperity. c2003. 24 min.