Films – Migrant Rights

A Bitter Harvest: Strawberry Fields
Producer: California Rural Legal Assistance, 2010
Documents the difficult lives of farmworkers in California.

El Norte (1983)
Director: Gregory Nava,  Source: Teaching for Change
Brother and sister Enrique and Rosa flee persecution in Guatemala and journey north to steal across the US border as undocumented immigrants. Study Guides: Several available here and here.
Time: 140 minutes

Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers’ Struggle (1997)
Produced: Paradigm Productions, Source: Independent Television Service (ITVS)
Social history of the farmworkers movement with Chávez as the central figure
Study guide available. Available on YouTube: Part 1 and Part 2,
Time: 120 minutes

Fingers to the Bone: Child Farmworkers in the USA (2010)
Producer: Human Rights Watch
Documents the dangers and abuse migrant children face as farmworkers.
Time: 5+ minutes

The Harvest/La Cosecha: The Story of the Children Who Feed America
Producer: Shine Global, 2011
The story of the children in the USA who work 12-14 hour days in the fields without the protection of child labor laws. Companion Curriculum for middle and high school available.
Time: 80 minutes

Invisible America: The Migrant Story (2011)
Producer: Logan Villereal
Documents how migrant workers harvest most of our food but live in a third-world lifestyle in developed country.
Time: 7 minutes

Uprooted: Refugees of the Global Econom
Source: National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights
Stories of three immigrants (from Bolivia, Haiti and the Philippines) to the US and how global institutions and multi-national corporations erode people’s capacity to survive in their home countries. Film Clips available.
Time: 28 minutes

Uprooted: Refugees of the Global Economy
Source: National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights, 2001
Award-winning documentary film presents three stories of immigrants who left their homes in Bolivia, Haiti, and the Philippines after global economic powers devastated their countries, only to face new challenges in the United States. These powerful stories raise critical questions about U.S. immigration policy in an era when corporations cross borders at will.
Time: 28 minutes
Grade Level: middle – high school

Viva La Causa
Source: Teaching Tolerance
Film kit that focuses on one of the seminal events in the march for human rights – the grape strike and boycott led by César Chávez and Dolores Huerta in the 1960s. Teacher’s guide with standards-based lesson plans is part of the kit.
Time: 39 minutes
Grade Level: middle – high school