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The Harvest/La Cosecha (2011)

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The story of the children who work 12-14 hour days in the fields without the protection of child labor laws. These children are not toiling in the fields in some far away land. They are working in America.

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The story of the children who work 12-14 hour days in the fields without the protection of child labor laws. These children are not toiling in the fields in some far away land. They are working in America.

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In some countries, children pick crops for 14 hours a day. The United States of America is one of those countries See more »

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Release Date:

29 July 2011 (USA)  »

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Budget:

$560,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend:

$2,245 (USA) (29 July 2011)

Gross:

$2,245 (USA) (29 July 2011)
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Trivia

The film has an in memoriam in the credit sequence to Maria Mojica, who was interviewed in California in December of 2009. At that time, she was undergoing chemotherapy for lymphoma, probably caused by pesticide exposure. She shared her hope for her children: "I would like for them to focus on their studies and graduate. That is my dream." She passed away 6 months after the interview and her family does not appear in the final film. See more »

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User Reviews

 
A window into another world
8 October 2012 | by (Pasadena, California, USA) – See all my reviews

The Harvest / La Cosecha follows the lives of three young people and their families as they support themselves, following the harvest and picking the fruits and vegetables that populate our breakfast, lunch and dinner plates. One cannot help appreciating, if only partly, the grinding and dispiriting challenges these children and their families face on a regular basis. While the film does not admonish those of us who are comparatively blessed for not caring or doing more, it's possible a person who has looked upon migrants with disregard or even contempt might feel the film aims to induce feelings of guilt in its audience. Regardless, what the film actually does is depict migrant life and the toll this nomadic and precarious existence takes on childhood development and opportunity. It is similar to a 2001 documentary about migrant farm workers, In The Land Of Plenty, in that such films do not offer policy prescriptions for making the lives of migrants better, but instead they lay the foundation upon which the policies of a just and equitable society may be built, by bringing to light and to focus that which is normally out of sight and out of mind.

La Cosecha's closing credits are interspersed with portraits of a handful of very successful people, e.g. a businesswoman and a neurosurgeon, who grew up in the fields. While these persons' biographies are individually inspirational, in the context of this documentary, they are a reminder of how so very few who run this gauntlet emerge unscathed by the obstacles portrayed in the film - breathing pesticides, missed school, families unable to help with school work, families broken apart by economic circumstances and legal obstacles, persistent economic uncertainty and attendant psychological stress, etc. In the film's final scene, a toddler walks along a row of plants, stoops over, and picks up a cucumber as big as her arm. Such bucolic imagery is normally the stuff of fond childhood memories, and La Cosecha leaves one hoping that for this little one, that's all it will ever be.


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