Theres not a wasted frame in U. Roberto Romano's documentary The Harvest, in which he illustrates the real costs of the produce on your grocer's shelves. Volatile political issues (immigration matters, the imploding economy) all play out in the day-to-day struggles faced by three Latino kids and their families as they criss-cross the country "chasing harvests." They gather tomatoes, strawberries, etc. for just pennies a pound, and it is backbreaking work. Romano doesn't beat you over the head in order to break your heart or prick your conscience; there's no overbearing music to manipulate your emotions, or showy editing to bombard your senses. The drama (unlike the produce) is organic, and doesnt need showboating to grab you. Romano, using long takes and quiet moments, focuses his camera on the micro (educations that fall by the way side; familial tensions that simmer) as it's shaped by the macro (racism, poverty). The kids at the film's centertwelve-year-old Zulema; sixteen-year-old Victor; fourteen-year-old Perlahaven't chalked up much classroom time, due to helping their families in the fields, but theyre insightful and eloquent when breaking down the forces working against them. One of the film's most powerful moments: a family shopping at a market when the mom observes that they can't afford the produce they helped harvest.
Get the Film & TV Newsletter
Stay up to date on the best new movies with our critics' latest reviews, interviews and trailers for the films coming to a theater near you each week.
More Film News
- Scott Adkins Plays a Badass Actually Named ‘Colt McReady’ In the Effective ‘Close Range’
- Meet the Pole Who Tried to Warn the World About the Holocaust in ‘Karski & the Lords...
- Jane Fonda Faced Down the Seventies and a Killer in Pakula’s Masterful ‘Klute’
- He’ll Get Your Head Shaking: Surveying the Start of Chung Mong-hong’s (Likely) Great...