International border crossing as a daily constant is an unusual life habit. Particularly when Mexican urban dwellers do so to work as agricultural laborers in the United States. In a time ... See full summary »

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International border crossing as a daily constant is an unusual life habit. Particularly when Mexican urban dwellers do so to work as agricultural laborers in the United States. In a time when drug trafficking has debilitated U.S. - Mexico relations and foreign migration has taken the political center stage in America, 'El Field' contributes to the discussion by providing a portrait in motion of the migrant workers and the industry that employs them. The antithesis of the urban decadent and lawless border imagery dispensed in recent years by the media, 'El Field' excels as a vital piece of historic information that exemplifies bilateral border relationship as a stunning, complex, and many times chaotic symbiosis. One worthy to be observed, understood, but above all, cherished. Written by Alejandro Dávila

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13 February 2011 (Mexico)  »

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One-Quarter Documentary; Three-Quarters Lyrical Film
24 February 2012 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

i was very disappointed in this film. visually it was beautiful but i believe that it was extremely uninformative about the situation of the farmworkers who come from Mexico on a daily basis to work in the imperial valley in California.

daniel rosas, the director, appeared at the screening which i saw. he was asked whether he had trouble getting permission to do this film. he said initially there had been some resistance because of the growers' secretaries misunderstanding their authority. once he spoke to the growers' themselves, he was given permission. this is not surprising as rosas's film does not touch on anything vaguely controversial.

the film is virtually a silent film with only the sound of the machines, a few brief exchanges of conversation between the workers and a bit of music. there is no commentary and no information about the area (the lady sitting next to me thought they were in Texas), the demographics of the labor pool, the nature of the agriculture (non-organic i was told in answer to my question), the method by which workers are granted work visas or the conditions under which the farmworkers toil. when asked whether he'd edited out complaints about working conditions, rosas said he'd heard none as the $95/day the workers receive is considered a great deal of money in Mexico. he also reassured us that they had access to medical treatment.

in my view, this impressionist film should not be categorized as a documentary.


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