School of Transborder Studies presents 'The Harvest/La Cosecha' documentary

Movie "The Harvest" on April 5 on ASU's Tempe campus

The award-winning documentary “The Harvest/La Cosecha” comes to Arizona State University’s Tempe campus on April 5, hosted by ASU’s School of Transborder Studies.

“The Harvest” documents the lives of Zulema, Perla and Victor, who labor as migrant farm workers, and their sacrifices to help their families survive.

More than 400,000 American children are diverted, like these three, from schools, playgrounds and homes to pick the food that we eat. Created by the producers of the Academy-Award nominated film “War/Dance,” executive producer Eva Longoria and filmmaker U. Roberto Romano explore the issues faced by children who labor in agricultural fields without the protection of child labor laws and the impacts on them and their families.

The film unfolds as the three children journey from the scorching heat of Texas’ onion fields to the winter snows of the Michigan apple orchards, and back south to the humidity of Florida's tomato fields, following the harvest.

Free and open to the public, the screening will take place from 6:30 to 8 p.m., April 5. Following the film, at 8:15 p.m., there will be an interactive panel discussion with the documentary’s associate director Julia Pérez and a panel of experts from ASU’s School of Transborder Studies. The event will take place in the BAC (Business Administration Center), room 216. RSVP is required. 

Pérez says that the motivation for working on this project was very personal: “I view this theme as a legal matter not immigration.” There are exemptions that allow any child to work in agriculture legally regardless of status or nationality. “Children in agriculture are legally separate and unequal, they need a voice,” she says. “Children are not exemptions; double standards in agriculture have legalized the end of childhood for many.”

Joining Pérez on the panel are ASU professors Paul Espinosa, an award-winning filmmaker, and Lisa Magaña, an expert on issues of immigration, urban policy and migration. The moderator for the panel discussion will be ASU Regents’ Professor Carlos Vélez-Ibañez, the director of the school.

“We are honored to be able to support this most memorable film," Vélez-Ibañez said. "Its poignancy is reminiscent of ‘Harvest of Shame,’ which – many years ago – concentrated on the tragedy of farmworkers during the 60s. However, ‘The Harvest’ brings us up to date and focuses on the tragedy of children robbed of their youth before their time and made old by the daily harshness of the field.”

For more information and to RSVP visit or call 480-965-5091.

Written by Irma Arboleda