A documentary about the Bracero labor program, which brought millions of Mexican farm workers to the United States as temporary laborers between the early 1940s and early 1960s, has won the audience choice award for best documentary at the Los Angeles Latino International Film Festival, where several films this year addressed the topic of immigration.
The winning documentary, "Harvest of Loneliness," features interviews with former Braceros and their families, chronicling the hardship and exploitation endured and examining what might be expected from a new temporary worker program, if one is implemented. The film was directed by Gilbert G. Gonzales and Vivian Price, professors at UC Irvine and CSU Dominguez Hills, respectively. The Venezuelan soccer drama "Hermano" (Brother), won the audience choice award for best feature.
Other immigration-related films this year included “Immigrant Nation! The Battle for the Dream,” a documentary involving the activist deportee Elvira Arellano, who took shelter in a Chicago church for several months between 2006 and 2007. She was eventually returned to Mexico, taking along her U.S.-born son. "Rabia," a feature, involves two young South American immigrants in Spain. “Memories of Overdevelopment,” a follow-up feature to the 1968 Cuban film “Memories of Underdevelopment,” has as its central character a Cuban writer who suffers an existential crisis years after he leaves Cuba for the United States.
Called the "Cinelatino Audience Choice Awards," for Spanish-language movie channel (and a festival sponsor) Cinelatino, the prizes came with cash awards of $1,000. Audience members were asked to rate the films presented on a four-point scale after each screening.