Directed by George Koszulinski, the award-winning Immokalee U.S.A. takes a closer look at the tens of thousands of migrant farm workers that converge on small communities like Immokalee, Florida every season where they plant and harvest the food that Americans consume.
A vast majority of these workers are undocumented, leaving them at the mercy of the large agribusinesses that hire them, the crew leaders who contract them, and the landlords and businesses that profit from their seasonal arrival. Their undocumented legal status allows for a system of exploitation that leaves workers and their families to endure conditions and wages that rarely meet international human rights standards.
Immokalee U.S.A. documents these daily experiences, leading the viewer to examine their own role in the issues migrant workers face in this country.
Georg Koszulinski’s work spans a wide range of forms and styles, from documentary and narrative features to avant-garde films and videos. Upon graduating from the University of Florida in 2003 with a degree in English/Film & Media Studies, his directorial debut, Blood of the Beast (2003), marked one of the earliest "no-budget" feature films to gain international DVD distribution (Alpha New Cinema). Silent Voyeur (2004) followed, premiering at the historic Anthology Film Archives in NYC. His experimental works, Desinformatsia (2002), America in Pictures (2007), Road to Katahdin (2008) and Fragments from an Endless War (2008) have screened at museums, festivals and microncinemas worldwide, earning numerous awards and accolades along the way.
His documentary features, Cracker Crazy (2007) and Immokalee U.S.A. (2008) garnered numerous awards including a "Notable Video of the Year" nomination from the American Library Association, and top honors from numerous international film festivals. Both documentaries air regularly on the Documentary Channel. A Highway Called 301 (2010), documenting the roadside culture of U.S. Highway 301 and a collection of 16mm hand-processed films exploring the history of the cinema are forthcoming.
Rothenberg, David. With These Hands: The Hidden World of Migrant Farmworkers Today. University of California Press, 2000
This remarkable study shows that the grinding poverty and abuse suffered by America's most vulnerable workers remains a national disgrace. Anthropologist Rothenberg, a former outreach worker and paralegal representing farmworkers, has weighed in with an epic account culled from more than 250 interviews conducted throughout the United States and Mexico.
Martin, Philip. Importing Poverty?: Immigration and the Changing Face of Rural America. Yale University Press, 2009
American agriculture employs some 2.5 million workers during a typical year, most for fewer than six months. Three fourths of these farm workers are immigrants, half are unauthorized, and most will leave seasonal farm work within a decade. What do these statistics mean for farmers, for laborers, for rural America? This book addresses the question by reviewing what is happening on farms and in the towns and cities where immigrant farm workers settle with their families.
Gonzalez, Gilbert. Guest Workers of Colonized Labor? Mexican Labor Migration to the United States. Paradigm Publishers, 2007
In this book Gilbert Gonzalez dispels the myth that Mexican migration conforms to the pattern of earlier European migrations. Mexican migration, he shows, is the social consequence of U.S. economic domination over Mexico. He examines Bush initiatives, NAFTA measures, and the history of antecedent bracero programs supported by the U.S. government and business to show how colonial explanations of migration better fit historical patterns.
Thissen, Carlene. Immokalee’s Fields of Hope. iUniverse Star, 2004. Immokalee's Fields of Hope is a story of Mexican, Haitian, and Guatemalan immigrants told by a businesswoman who regained her soul through volunteering with children. With compassion and understanding, Carlene Thissen shares the personal stories the immigrants told her, framed with the political and social histories of their countries.