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Farmingville (2004)

Documentary on the attempted murder of two Mexican day laborers in Farmingville, New York.


Carlos Sandoval
8 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »




The hate-based attempted murder of two Mexican day laborers catapults the Long Island town of Farmingville into national headlines, unmasking a new frontline of the border wars -- suburbia. Blending the stories of town residents and day laborers, Farmingville reveals the human impact of mismanaged national policies that lead to fear, racism and violence. Written by Anonymous

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Welcome to the suburbs, home of the new border wars.



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Progagandizes and Important Issue
20 January 2004 | by baho2See all my reviews

I don't mind a documentary having a point of view but one thing that really angers me is when the filmmakers pretend they are being unbiased and then clearly make a one-sided movie. Farmingville is all about a battle between residents of the Long Island town (15,000 pop.) and a sudden influx of 1500 mostly illegal Mexican immigrant men. One of the two pivotal events of the film was the attempted murder of two Mexicans by town citizens. (The actual murder of a young mother by a drunk immigrant was barely mentioned.)

I don't think I'm a bigot. (Who knows for sure?) I believe the immigration problem is an extraordinarily challenging one that needs to be part of public debate. Nevertheless, I do not believe that the way to solve the problem is to produce documentaries that make most of the white residents out to be racist idiots and a group of 1500 Mexican men out to be saints. If I were to believe this film, the Farmingville Mexicans were the most respectful and well-behaved group of men in American history-of any race. These guys make the Amish look like hell-raisers, their sole crime apparently being their custom of gathering on corners to find work and a lack of affordable housing. Any other negatives we hear are accusations and innuendo from the whites, which come off as paranoid rants. These oppressed men just want to work hard, play soccer and be left alone.

When I asked one of the directors, Catherine Tambini, about this, she said that it was difficult to get any bad behavior from the men on film. But apparently the stupid white folks were more than willing to immortalize their ignorance. Most of the Anglo citizens of Farmingville that were featured were mean-spirited, ignorant human beings. The sole thoughtful and articulate exception was a legislator that was a champion of the Latino community. Honestly, this film was so biased that I felt like I was watching Reefer Madness. But then, it was funded in part by Latino organizations.

Mexican immigration is a major issue for our country, and it's good to see film-makers tackling the problem. Farmingville is a symptom of a bankrupt immigration policy-both legislative and executive. Fear and self-interest brought out the worst in many people of Farmingville. It's a sad chapter in American history. But let's not ignite the debate by deifying immigrants or vilifying whites. That's not a documentary. That's propaganda.

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PBS [United States]




English | Spanish

Release Date:

18 January 2004 (USA) See more »

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