IMDb > Immokalee U.S.A. (2008)

Immokalee U.S.A. (2008) More at IMDbPro »


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Release Date:
26 September 2008 (Australia) See more »
Being an account of migrant farmworkers in the U.S.A.
Every season, tens of thousands of migrant farmworkers converge on small communities like Immokalee... See more » | Add synopsis »
2 wins See more »
A Highway Called 301
 (From Underground Film Journal. 31 December 2010, 6:00 AM, PST)

User Reviews:
The smiles in Immokalee are few and far between See more (2 total) »

Directed by
Georg Koszulinski 
Produced by
Isaac Brown .... associate producer
Dan Gloeckner .... producer
Julian Goldberger .... executive producer
Jeannine Gonyon .... associate producer
Daniel Paul Herrera .... co-producer
Georg Koszulinski .... producer
Elizabeth Slagsvol .... associate producer
Dan Wester .... associate producer
Original Music by
Cinematography by
Isaac Brown 
Film Editing by
Georg Koszulinski 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Dan Gloeckner .... assistant director
Camera and Electrical Department
Dan Bell .... assistant camera
Ivan Rodriguez .... assistant camera
Editorial Department
Dan Gloeckner .... assistant editor
Other crew
James Hernandez .... post-production translator
Daniel Paul Herrera .... translator
Eric Madrid .... post-production translator
Diego Ramos .... post-production translator
Gabriel Tyner .... post-production translator
Itzel Sofia Estrada Tyner .... post-production translator
Roger Beebe .... special thanks
Matt Boker .... special thanks
Morgan Caraway .... special thanks
Jean Dennison .... special thanks
Jai Hale Gallardo .... special thanks
Juan Medina .... special thanks
John Prosser .... special thanks
Barbara Rollason .... special thanks
Kinch White .... special thanks

Production Companies

Additional Details

USA:77 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

The word "Immokalee" comes from the Seminole dialect and translates to "my home," or more accurately, "my cage."See more »


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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful.
The smiles in Immokalee are few and far between, 26 August 2008
Author: Howard Schumann from Vancouver, B.C.

Looking older than their years, stoop-shouldered men wait for buses at 4:30 each morning to take them to the fields where they toil in the unforgiving sun from morning to night, planting, picking, and processing the food that Americans will eat in their comfortable homes. Those that are lucky to find work have to tolerate conditions below international health standards: poverty wages, long hours without overtime pay, cramped living conditions, physical abuse, no employment benefits, and retaliation against workers who organize. Living in cheaply rented trailers and often mistreated by the crew leaders who contract them, many of the seasonal farmworkers are undocumented and are beholden to the large agribusiness conglomerates that hire them.

Georg Koszulinski's powerful film Immokalee U.S.A., now making the rounds of film festivals, documents the lives of the people of Immokalee, Florida, a small farming community eighty miles southeast of Ft. Myers, observing farmworkers, social workers, a farm boss, and the wife of a deported worker as they go about their daily routine. Koszulinski does not preach and places no blame. With no voice-over narration, his camera simply records and the images speak for themselves. A young mother shows us a picture of a small boy who recently died of cancer caused by pesticide poisoning, a mother sends her children to school while fixing burritos for her husband's lunch, and tamales that she can sell in the fields to make a few dollars. An owner says that Americans will not do this work anymore, that the only ones now who are willing to work are illegals, and that he is aware that some crew leaders mistreat some workers but most owners take care of their people.

One mother explains that her older daughter constantly asks questions such as why her father works every day of the week, why he leaves so early, and why she herself comes home so late but she has no easy answers for her daughter. She simply tells the camera that "we have little but we are happy for it. You don't need money to be happy." Yet the pain is written on the face of Mateo Diego, an undocumented immigrant from Guatemala who has been waiting each morning for fifteen days without being asked. "I just want a house, a job to have money, maybe buy a car, he says. "I don't want to be here just passing the time. I don't want to be a tourist, just money to support my family." The most heartbreaking sequence in the film follows Mateo as he desperately tries to phone his brother, putting all of his coins into pay phones that do not work. He shows little emotion until Koszulinski hands him a cell phone and he is able to reach his brother. "I'm going back", he tells him, then begins to cry. "This is an embarrassment", he whispers. Later he seems to lose touch with reality, complaining that people here are trying to kill him and refusing to eat for fifteen days until forced to by an aid worker.

We hear much about illegal immigration yet most do not fully understand that men who come here often lose their wives, their children, and their country because they do not earn enough money to send back to their families. As one farmer says, "They don't know who or where they are. They dream to come here but it often ends in failure." In spite of the pain, however, there is a strong feeling of community in Immolakee and the Guadalupe Center, a charitable organization, feeds the hungry each day, providing special meals for holidays like Thanksgiving. A carnival also comes to town and it is gratifying to see the smiles on the faces of the children, but the smiles in Immokalee are few and far between.

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