H-2 Worker (1990)

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Expose on the exploitation of workers in the Florida sugar cane industry.


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Expose on the exploitation of workers in the Florida sugar cane industry.

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January 1990 (USA)  »

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22 October 2003 | by See all my reviews

Stephanie Black's documentary on Jamaican H-2 visa farm workers in Florida is one of the better labor documentaries around. The film provides an intimate portrait of the daily lives of farm workers - and moves seamlessly from the hot, overcrowded barracks of the hands themselves to the offices of government officials in Washington to Jamaica's political leaders. The film leaves you without a clear idea of how to solve the problems of saving American farms while not destroying agricultural life in the Third World which then must send countless of its citizens to work in hellish, underpaid positions on American farms. Though, thirteen years later, the film itself might have the feel of being dated - the social, economic, and trade problems it highlights unfortunately persist today. It's well worth your time to see this unsettling and moving documentary. And while you're at it, check out the more recent documentary called "Life and Debt" - which returns to Jamaica to examine how trade and the economic prescriptions of the World Bank and IMF have affected that island nation. Together, "Life and Debt" and "H-2 Worker" are a great introduction to trade issues, helping to show how all the esoteric policy-talk actually affects human lives.

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