The film is an adaptation of the prize-winning novel . . . y no se lo trago la tierra by Tomas Rivera. Set in 1952, and seen through the eyes of Marcos, a twelve-year-old boy, the story follows a family’s migrant journey through a year in their lives. Marcos is the second son of a migrant farmworker family; his brother is missing in action in the Korean war. The family travels to Minnesota, following the crops. The housing is awful; sometimes the boss furnishes no water to the workers, and TB goes untreated. In good times the pay is $15 a day for adults, half that for children. For a few sordid weeks, Marcos’ parents leave him in the care of a corrupt couple. He is expelled from school for fighting, and he finds solace in a graveyard. The boy’s recollections of the poignant, sometimes funny and sometimes terrifying experiences become a magical voyage of self-discovery.
A film written, produced and directed by Severo Perez
Producer/Executive Producer for KPBS: Paul Espinosa
Music by Marcos Loya
Cinematography by Virgil Harper
Edited by Susan Heick and Howard Hurd
Starring: Jose Alcala, Rose Portillo, Marco Rodriguez, Danny Valdez, Lupe Ontiveros, Sal Lopez, Art Bonilla, Jeffrey Licon, Kevin Sifuentes, Chris Hendrie, Tony Genaro.
A Severo Perez Films / KPBS Production
Funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, American Playhouse, and Severo Perez Films.
Distributed by American Playhouse, PBS series, 1996 – 2002
Distributed by Filmakers Library
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