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| 7/3/2013 2:15:00 PM


Tags: immigrant labor, agricultural wage, migrant justice, Brooke Werley,

field workersI took an education class in school about diversity in the classroom. The professor, an amazon with strong opinions and a gentle disposition, told our impressionable minds that everyone is racist, because we live in a racist system. This came along with the tenet, No one is free while others are oppressed.

I've never questioned this wisdom of passive racism, but have mostly figured myself exempt from the aggressive racism still rife in the alleys of our collective consciousness.

Sometimes, though, I wonder if I've given myself undue credit, or if sometimes, questions that seem to be about race are about something else entirely.

The film is Hide. It is a thirty or so minute long documentary about illegal immigrant labor on dairy farms in Vermont, filmed this summer and made possible by a grant through Middlebury College. I saw the film at a showing in Burlington, Vermont. The showing was attended by 100 or so local residents. Perhaps some were brought in by the inexpensive flatbread and beer available for a small donation to Migrant Justice, an advocacy group for migrant farmworkers. Two of their members were available for questions after the screening, as well as the two filmmakers.

It was difficult to remain objective, since I know personally both the filmmakers and the subject matter.

Visually, the film is striking. A beautifully shot and dialogue light invitation to pensive reflection, it is essentially a glimpse into the daily life of a handful of migrant Central American workers, laboring without documentation in the Green Mountain state.




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