Movies About Displaced Persons

I have recently watched two documentaries: Food Chains and Exile Nation: The Plastic People.

The former is about farmworkers who are routinely abused and robbed of wages. The film exposes the human cost in our food supply and the complicity of the supermarket industry. Supermarkets earn $4 trillion globally and have tremendous power over the agricultural system. Over the past 3 decades they have drained revenue from their supply chain leaving farmworkers in poverty and forced to work under subhuman conditions. It is a moving documentary and a worthy follow up to the 1960 classic Harvest of Shame. Here is the trailer for “Food Chains.”

“Exile Nation” is about U.S. deportees in Tijuana who struggle to survive a cartel war zone, and who live in cardboard boxes and sewer pipes, in an ever-expanding underworld of exiles. Most of the deportees have lived in the US since childhood, have extended families in the US, have no relatives in Mexico, and speak no Spanish. Many have waited for citizenship for years but the path to citizenship is filled with multiple roadblocks. Needless to say many of these deportees are the very people doing the migrant farm work without which Americans wouldn’t enjoy low prices for their food. Here is the trailer for “Exile Nation.”

I encourage my readers to watch these moving films and, if possible, work for solutions to human degradation in the US and elsewhere.

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