RESISTANCE CINEMA Presents “HARVEST OF EMPIRE” Produced by WENDY THOMPSON MARQUEZ and EDUARDO LOPEZ, directed by PETER GETZELS and EDUARDO LOPEZ, ONYX Films and EVS Communications, based on the book by JUAN GONZALEZ. (2012, 92 min)
WHEN: Sunday November 11, 2012 1:15 PM
WHERE: Community Church NY Gallery Room 28 East 35th St. btwn Park & Madison Aves.
ADMISSION: Free; donations appreciated
“We are all Americans of the New World, and our most dangerous enemies
are not each other, but the great wall of ignorance between us.”
Juan González, Harvest of Empire
At a time of heated and divisive debate over immigration, Onyx Films is proud to present HARVEST OF EMPIRE, a feature-length documentary that examines the direct connection between the long history of U.S. intervention in Latin America and the immigration crisis we face today.
Based on the groundbreaking book by award-winning NY Daily News journalist and Democracy Now! co-host Juan González, HARVEST OF EMPIRE takes an unflinching look at the role that U.S. economic and military interests played in triggering an unprecedented wave of migration that is transforming our nation’s cultural and economic landscape.
From the wars for territorial expansion that gave the U.S. control of Puerto Rico, Cuba and more than half of Mexico, to the covert operations that imposed oppressive military regimes in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua and El Salvador, the film unveils a moving human story that is largely unknown to the great majority of citizens in the U.S. “They never teach us in school that the huge Latino presence here is a direct result of our own government’s actions in Mexico, the Caribbean and Central America over many decades -- actions that forced millions from that region to leave their homeland and journey north,” says Juan González at the beginning of the film.
The film provides a rare and powerful glimpse into the enormous sacrifices and rarely-noted triumphs of our nation’s growing Latino community. It features present day immigrant stories, rarely seen archival material, as well as interviews with such respected figures as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchú, the Reverend Jesse Jackson, ACLU Executive Director Anthony Romero, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Díaz, Mexican historian Dr. Lorenzo Meyer, journalists Maria Hinojosa and Geraldo Rivera, Grammy award-winning singer Luis Enrique, and poet Martín Espada.
In individual sections devoted to each locale, the film methodically explains and dissects the roles played by U.S. military and economic interests in the region. Much of what’s presented is familiar, such as the recap of the Iran-Contra scandal in which the U.S. government provided surreptitious support to the anti-Sandinista Nicaraguan rebels. But much of the rest will be eye-opening to many viewers, particularly how the logic of the Cold War led the U.S. to overthrow democratically elected governments and support dictatorial regimes whose brutality in repressing their citizenry was exceeded by no one. If you were anti-communist and a good business partner of well connected American corporations such as The United Fruit Company, the U.S. didn’t care what else you were.
The current anti-immigrant climate -- about which one commentator makes the point that those descendants of immigrants who arrived long ago are all too quick to criticize our more recent arrivals — is on ample display here, thanks to the commentary seen in clips from various cable television news and talk shows in which the language is far from civil.
And yet the filmmakers tell their story with a deep underlying conviction that once Americans have accurate facts, “they rarely allow injustices to stand”.