Harvest of Empire
Opens May 3 (Q&A after 7:30 screening on May 3)
510 Texas St
Depending on your political leanings, the millions of undocumented Latino immigrants living in the United States are either hard-working future American citizens or law-breakers who are overwhelming local communities. But why, exactly, did so many Latinos immigrate here in the first place? The new documentary Harvest of Empire: The Untold Story of Latinos in America, based on a book by award-winning journalist Juan González (a co-host of Democracy Now), investigates the American interventions in Central and South America that forced so many of their residents to flee to El Norte.
“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,” González says in the film, “actions that forced millions from that region to leave their homeland and journey north."
From backing the Contras in Nicaragua to helping overthrow Salvador Allende in Chile, the US has a long history of covert operations in South America, the 20th century legacy of the Monroe Doctrine, which established the principal of American hegemony in the Western Hemisphere. The film suggests that the waves of Latino immigration to the US, legal and illegal, can be viewed as blowback from our neo-imperial adventures south of the border. Judge for yourself tomorrow night at Sundance Cinemas, when Harvest of Empire producer Wendy Thompson will host a Q&A following the 7:30 screening of the documentary.