Media Arts Program

Thursday, September 17, 2009 at 8:00 p.m.

$7 general, $5 students/seniors, $4 members

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Co-Presented by the Latin American Solidarity Committee

Bill Jungels

Broken Branches, Fallen Fruit

from Broken Branches, Fallen Fruit Screening to benefit the people of Chiapas, Mexico

Buffalo filmmaker Bill Jungels will premiere Broken Branches, Fallen Fruit (2009, 31 minutes), and related short documentaries. (Total running time 70 minutes).

What can Margarita picture as she sits in her dirt floored kitchen a thousand miles south of the border and tries to think of her son, somewhere in some southern, gringo town (it changes every few months) washing dishes in a Chinese restaurant? This is a documentary about forces driving immigration among the Tzotzil Mayan people of highland Chiapas, Mexico's Southernmost, poorest and most indigenous state. It probes how immigration as a solution to poverty plays out in the family between generations and genders.

The mini-documentaries supplement the family’s story with more analytic and historical material. How did Mexico’s switch to a neo-liberal economic model throw poor coffee growers into misery? How did the NAFTA impelled policy on grains, especially corn, drive poor campesinos to immigrate? What was it like in Acteal in 1997 on the day after government allied paramilitaries massacred 45 members of the religious community Abejas? What do weaving and produce cooperatives mean to people living on the edge of survival? What do deported immigrants think of their treatment by “la migra” (immigration officers)

In Spanish, Tzotzil and English. All Spanish and Tzotzil subtitled in English.
Director Bill Jungels will be in attendance to answer questions.

Bill Jungels is a documentary maker and activist concerned with social justice issues in Latin America, with a focus on workers and indigenous campesinos in Mexico. In the 1980s he made several documentaries about the unfair treatment in the U.S. of asylum seekers fleeing the genocides in El Salvador and Guatemala. In the early 90s he did collaborative documentary work with the Border Arts Workshop of Tijuana and San Diego (and with Hallwalls) around issues of social justice for migrant workers and asylum seekers. Later in that decade he made “Crossing the Line/Sobre pasando la línea” about repression of workers in the maquiladoras and efforts of workers in the three NAFTA nations to come together to fight exploitation. His current release is “Broken Branches, Fallen Fruit/Ramas rotas, frutas caidas: immigration and the family in highland Chiapas” It complements the previous documentary by showing, among other things, the effects of NAFTA on campesinos. His initiation into video work by the Vasulkas has also left an imprint on his work.

He is a professor emeritus at SUNY Fredonia. He is part of the steering committee of the Latin American Solidarity Committee of the Western New York Peace Center and is on the board of directors of The Coalition for Justice in the Maquiladoras and of Rural & Migrant Ministries, an organization to secure justice for migrant workers in New York State.

His works have been shown both on public television and in gallery and museum settings.

Some publications related to this event:
September, 2009 - 2009