The Harvest (Spanish title: La Cosecha) is a documentary film about agricultural child labor in America, by filmmaker Robin Romano in association with Shine Global, with planned release in 2010.
It depicts children who work as many as 12 hours a day, six months a year, in the burning hot sun, without the protection of child labor laws. These children are not toiling in the fields in some far away land. They are working here, in our back yard, in America.
Not since the work of Walker Evans, has the world of these agricultural workers been so vividly and intimately depicted. More than 400,000 migrant child workers in the US, journey from their homes, traveling from state to state, farm to farm, crop to crop, picking ¼ of all the produce we eat. Most of these children are American citizens. All are working to help their families survive while sacrificing the birthright of childhood: play; stability; school. The film profiles several of them as they work through the 2009 harvest.
Whose families will be “lucky” enough to get work? Which families will be separated? Which will be deported or injured or killed? Will any manage to keep their dreams alive?
The film tracks these children for a full year as they follow the crops they harvest, their lives governed by climate, demand, trade, and the greater economy.
The vérité footage of the children and their year of toil, will be augmented by the children having the chance to speak for themselves about their lives, all filmed by the award-winning director and cinematographer U Roberto 'Robin' Romano.
Principal photography for THE HARVEST/ LA COSECHA began in Minnesota and North Dakota in June 2007, and continues in Texas, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Ohio through the 2009 harvest. Post-production will begin in early winter 2010, with the anticipated completion of the film by mid-2010. Shot with cinematic scope, revealing the drama and impact of narrative character-based storytelling and powered by the children’s determination to find hope within their hardship, THE HARVEST boasts unparalleled access to life on these farms across the nation and gives the opportunity to connect with these children, who live these unthinkable lives to feed us, and more importantly to them, to feed their families and themselves.