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USA, 2004 (MIFF 2004, Documentaries)

Director: Catherine Tambini, Carlos Sandoval

Farmingville USA

In September 2000, two Mexican workers were beaten nearly to death by young white youths in the New York state town of Farmingville. This explosive documentary examines the combustible atmosphere that led to this hate crime and the implications, not only for the immediate community, but also for American society as a whole.

Throughout the 90s, hundreds of illegal Mexican workers flocked to the quiet hamlet of Farmingville, whose geography afforded it easy accessibility to contractors for cheap, labour-intensive work. By 2000, the itinerant workers accounted for 10% of the population. Longtime residents complained about the effects of this influx: overcrowded rental houses and street corners overrun with workers waiting for jobs. The new arrivals' constant complaints of harassment fell on deaf ears until two of them suffered a near fatal bashing. When a proposal to build an employment centre is violently opposed by local Anglo-Saxon residents, it becomes frighteningly apparent that xenophobia has taken root.

This disturbing and eye-opening film benefits from the clear vision of the filmmakers, who lived in Farmingville for a year, lending the story a potent authenticity.

D/P Catherine Tambini, Carlos Sandoval S Carlos Sandoval WS Caminobluff Productions L English, Spanish w/English subtitles TD Video/Col/2003/78mins

Catherine Tambini's films: Farmingville (MIFF 2004).

Carlos Sandoval's films: Farmingville (MIFF 2004).

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