Friday, February 27, 2009

Dos Americas at the USF Human Rights Film Festival

Dos Americas, director David Zlutnicks’ fourth film, touches on the topic of migrant workers in New Orleans and their aid in reconstructing the city of New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. The film focuses on the way that Latino migrant workers have been abused by those who contract them and have become easy targets for violence. These issues cannot be brought forward to the police because of fear of deportation and the fact that many of these crimes are being committed by the police officers themselves. Throughout the film, you see interviews with many of the migrant workers that have left their country to follow the American dream, and have been met with horrible living conditions, meager wages and all kinds of abuses. To change these conditions, we learn about a group of migrant workers who have come together to help the victims of this abuse and give a voice to this hardworking group of people. The films interviews with the migrant workers, gave us a first hand account of the tough lives they must lead in order to make little money, to support themselves and their family. The film opens our eyes to issues that are not brought up my the mainstream media. The creation of such a film has given a voice to the voiceless latino migrant workers of New Orleans and those around the country.

The Q & A that followed after the film was very interesting and added a lot to the film. The director David Zlutnick, Jorge Aquino and Ron Sundstrom really informed the audience about the background information of New Orleans and some of the issues that are going on there at this present moment. The director gave some more background information about the film and the audience seemed to have really enjoyed the film and the subject and opened their eyes to a situation that has never really been touched upon in mainstream media.

Here you'll be able to find more information about the films that showed at University of San Francisco's Human Rights Film Festival


Anonymous said...

This film highlights the inequality of post-Katrina. But I feel like these kinds of injustices happen every day in the farming communities of California.

Do you think the post-Katrina atmosphere spurred injustices that we have never seen before? Or is it another violation of human rights that was merely high lighted by the attention of the media due to the hurricane?

I think this is an excellent description of the film. I would like to see more of your opinion concerning the issue.

Elisa said...

I definitely believe that these injustices already existed all over the country, including here in the bay area. The abuse and hardships of migrant workers is never talked about by mainstream media and it's extremely disappointing that they ignore the issue. I was extremely happy that this documentary finally shed some light on the subject and I wish that mainstream media would do the same, so that people could become more aware of the human rights that are being violated by those who take advantage of the migrant workers.

Anonymous said...

Beyond the farming communities of California and post-Katrina New Orleans, these injustices occur everywhere. There's a heavy reliance on undocumented worker labor everywhere from the kitchens of upscale restaurants to the homes of people around the country hiring nannies and cleaning help. These people are given jobs, but must sacrifice their basic right to a fair, safe, clean and respectful work environment. Not to mention the fact they don't have health care or any other available aid.
It's so frustrating that our immigration policies have developed this cycle. People come here because their countries cannot provide what they need, they get here and find work, they're abused by their boss, the system, the police force and they can't say a word about it. It's like sex workers trying to report rape/sexual abuse.
Our systems are failing people.

david silver said...

nice blog post, great comment conversation. maybe katrina just shed a light on labor practices that have been in place for some time. sam's question, and elisa and melissa's responses, would make for an excellent question to either the filmmaker or Jorge Aquino and Ron Sundstrom.