THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA
Stories of the children who pick America's food.
When: Saturday, November 24th at 4pm
Where: The Martha's Vineyard Film Center (located at the Tisbury Marketplace)
Tickets (at the door only): $7 (for members of the MV Film Society) and $10
Director U. Roberto Romano will be present for a Q&A following the film.
The screening is a benefit for island-based non-profit Media Voices for Children.
About the film
THE HARVEST exposes the plight of the 400,000 children who work as migrant
laborers on America's farms.
"Straightforward, intimate, and heartbreaking" - Susan Linden, The Los Angeles
"In its modest way, calls to mind The Grapes of Wrath" - Mike Hale, The New
Directed by award-winning photographer and filmmaker U. Roberto Romano,
THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA tells the stories of three adolescents who travel
with their families across thousands of miles to pick crops in southern Texas,
northern Michigan and northern Florida during the harvest season. Along the
way, they face backbreaking labor in 100-degree heat, physical hazards from
pesticides, the emotional burden of helping their families through economic
crises when work opportunities dry up, separation from their families and peer
groups and dwindling hope for education and economic advancement.
“I've been an activist for migrant farm workers for over 10 years. When I learned
about this film I knew I had to be involved."
Executive Producer Eva Longoria
Zulema Lopez, 12, thinks of nothing but working in the fields. One of her earliest
childhood memories is of her mother teaching her how to pick and clean
strawberries. Having attended eight schools in the last eight years, she struggles
to keep up and is afraid she may not make it to high school. When asked what
her dreams are, she replies that she doesn’t have time for them.
Perla Sanchez, 14, travels with her large family to pick crops across the United
States. She watches as her classmates forge special bonds that she will never
share with them, as they advance from one grade to the next and she is left
behind. And just when it seems that her father has found a job that will allow
them to stay in one place and have some stability, a decline in his health sends
them back on the road. She dreams of becoming a lawyer, so that she can help
other migrant workers who struggle to make ends meet.
Victor Huapilla is a 16 year-old living in Florida. When he was young, his family
migrated to the U.S. looking for a better life. They are on the path to full
citizenship. To help support his family, Victor has had to divide his time between
harvesting and going to school, and his education suffers. While Victor is often
in the fields, he’s glad his younger sisters are still spared the ordeal of picking up
to 1500 pounds of tomatoes a day. But the expense of legally bringing his two
older sisters to America bankrupts the family and they can’t afford not to
migrate for work.
Scenes from THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA have been presented to the U.S.
Department of Labor and members of Congress. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard has
presented scenes from the film to lawmakers in support of her introduction of
the CARE Act, which would raise the minimum age of child farmworkers from 12
THE HARVEST/LA COSECHA was screened at the San Antonio Film Festival
where it received the Audience Award for Best Documentary as well as
Outstanding Filmmaker award for director Romano.
About Media Voices for Children
Island-based MEDIA VOICES FOR CHILDREN is a non-profit organization that
works to raise awareness of the needs of poor children in the U.S and around
the world, through documentary film production, public advocacy and direct
action. The organization runs an online community for children's rights,
mediavoices.org and supports former child laborers educations through its
Kenyan Schoolhouse program, kenyanschoolhouse.org, now in its tenth