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El Contrato

Mexican immigrant workers: the opportunity to exploit workers is as ripe as the fruit they pick

  • 7pm, Thursday, January 27
  • Room 216, Young building, Lansdowne campus

Cinema Politica presents: El ContratoEveryone welcome; admission is by donation.

El Contrato follows Teodoro Bello Martinez, a poverty-stricken father of four living in Central Mexico, and several of his countrymen as they make an annual migration to southern Ontario. For eight months of the year the town's population absorbs 4,000 migrant labourers who pick tomatoes under conditions and wages no local would accept. Under a well-meaning government program that allows growers to monitor themselves, the opportunity to exploit workers is as ripe as the fruit they pick. Grievances are deflected by a long line of others "back home" who are willing to take their place.

Despite a fear of repercussions, the workers' desire for dignity and respect is as important as their need for better working conditions. El Contrato ends as winter closes in and the Mexicans pledge, not for the first time and possibly not the last, that it's their final season in the north.

Post-film discussion

The Cinema Politica screenings conclude in a powerful opportunity for further discussion. Providing a BC context for the post-film discussion, the Victoria chapter of the group Justice for Migrant Workers (also co-sponsors of the screening) will share information and facilitate opinions from the audience.

Cinema Politica is co-sponsored by Camosun's School of Arts and Science, Students for a Democratic Society, and other student groups on campus. For more info, contact English instructor Jeanne Iribarne at

Last updated: January 19, 2011 9:41 am

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