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Month of June, 2009
The goal of the Showcase is to offer a broad, diversified look at life in the United States and the values of a democratic society as seen by American documentary filmmakers. The Showcase is intended to demonstrate the role documentary plays in fostering understanding and cooperation.
| Poster of Made in L.A. at the Summit|
| Robert and Almudena receive the award|
Alexandra Lescaze, executive director of the Sidney Hillman Foundation, Robert and me,
Food Inc delves deep into the reasons for the exodus of hundreds of thousands of small farmers from Mexico, who are losing a way of life because of their inability to compete with low-cost imported U.S. corn, often subsidized by the U.S. government and flowing freely as a result of NAFTA. (Read more here) The cycle continues as large meatpacking companies post ads in their destroyed towns assuring good wages in the U.S., even setting up bus lines to help workers come illegally to the U.S., so they work at meatpacking factories. According to the film, this practice was frequently ignored by Immigration authorities. And, despite the well-publicized, high-profile raids in places like Postville, an organizer in the film explains that the major agribusiness companies only experience "occasional small raids": 10 to 15 immigrants being detained everyday in their trailers, in what he describes as possible complicity between the company and the authorities to avoid bigger crackdowns that could slow or stop production.
I thank the producers of Food Inc for being brave enough to connect the dots, and to link the food we all eat with the lives of hundreds of thousands of people whose lives have been turned upside-down (back in Mexico and now in the US) so that we can eat meat everyday.
"I saw the film twice... it's really impressive and with so many similarities to my life, and to the life to millions of workers in the US. When I arrived to California I also worked in a textile company...
[Made in L.A.] shows the transformation of three beautiful women, who in the process of achieving justice for themselves as women and their dignity, were able to learn what few immigrants are able to do for fear of reprisals.
The story of Maura, who ahs spent more than 18 years without seeing her children, is basically the story of many immigrants. I myself have spent more than 9 years without seeing my children, educating them in the distance via phone and like many others missing the most important dates in the life of our children. As mothers, we suffer psychological damage everyday because we ask that when we eat, theyre also eating, that they don't suffer as much through their sick days and are healthy and safe, and that on mothers day they don't feel alone."
I encourage everyone to send her letters of support, and to support her in other ways if they can (she sells the most beautiful and earrings that she makes herself in order to support her and her family while in sanctuary. For more info about Flor and her struggle, and to get in touch with her, visit her website and blog. Thank you!
La última vez aque estuve en Chicago para presentar Made in LA me presentaron a Flor Crisóstomo, una mujer excepcional que lleva viviendo más de un año en reclusión en la iglesia de Adalberto (United Methodist Church), luchando contra una orden de deportación. Sus historia es muy poderosa, y un ejemplo viviente de resistencia y del poder del movimiento de santuarios. Le di el DVD de Made in L.A. para animarla, y a petición mia me escribió con unos comentarios muy bonitos sobre la película y las similitudes con su vida de lucha. Incluyo aquí un segmento:
"Vi dos veces la película... es muy impresionante y con tantas similitudes con mi vida y pienso que con la de los millones de trabajadores en EEUU. Cuando llegué a California yo también trabajé en una compañía de textil...
[Made in L.A.] muestra la transformación de tres bellas mujeres, que en el transcurso de justicia para su genero y para su dignidad las llevo a conocer lo que no cualquier migrante puede darse el lujo de hacer por temor a represalias.
La historia de Maura, que ha pasado más de 18 años sin ver a sus hijos, es prácticamente la historia de muchos inmigrantes. Como en mi situación que he pasado mas de 9 años sin ver mis hijos, educándolos a distancia a través del teléfono y perdiéndonos las fechas mas importante de la vida de nuestros hijos. Sufrimos deterioro psicológico como madres todos los días porque pedimos que al comer nosotras ellos también estén comiendo, que en sus enfermedades no sufran tanto y no les duela absolutamente nada, y que en ese día de las madres no se sientan solos."
Animo a todo el mundo a que le envíen cartas de apoyo, y a apoyarla en otras formas si pueden (vende aretes y collares preciosos que ella misma fabrica para poder sustentarse a ella y su familia mientras se encuentra encerrada en condición de santuario). Para más información sobre Flor y para ponerse en contacto con ella, visita su página web y blog en www.floresiste.wordpress.com.
The Spirit of Humanity Award, as it states in the plaque, "honors an exemplary filmmaker and activist who uses film as an important social instrument to advance, celebrate, and promote humanity. This award is presented to Almudena Carracedo for her selfless dedication to uphold democracy, equal opportunity, and basic human rights as experienced in her directorial feature Made in L.A." How beautiful...