As a European working in the United States, I was well aware of the immigration rules and regulations, post 9/11. My own experience made me even more sympathetic to the Jamaicans' journeys far from home. I was also fascinated by the complex global economy that effects even a small farmer.
New York, NY (PRWEB) July 31, 2008
When the only permanent thing is change, what endures is the human spirit.
Hollywood veteran Elliott Gould lends his distinct voice to this gentle documentary exploring the symbiotic relationships between the apple farmers of NY's Hudson Valley and the Jamaican laborers, who come to the US under the auspices of the US government's H2-A temporary agricultural labor program.
Produced by Chatsby Films The 87-minute piece was shot on location in New York's Hudson Valley and on the Island of Jamaica over the last five years. The film features an in-depth look at a small group of Jamaican men who come to the US every year to work in the apple orchards of New York's Hudson Valley. It charts their experiences with racism, immigration control, and reflects on the strong bonds they have with the American farmers for whom they work. These Jamaicans are a microcosm of the thousands who come to the US and Canada under the auspices of diminishing government labor programs.
The film features an original score and candid commentary from not only the workers, but also public servants including Jamaican Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller, and former Governor of NY George Pataki.
Adam Matalon, a New York based British-American Filmmaker, describes the film as a symphony.
"We are all conditioned to see modern documentary as propaganda machines, but the seasonal nature of agriculture is about the passage of time. It's sweet, harsh, triumphant and soul destroying in almost equal doses. I wanted a film that washed over you rather than hit you on the head." Co-producer and twice Emmy nominated Director of Photography, Kevin Burke said, "Once we started shooting, I realized I was watching the consequences of a global economy unfold in front of my eyes."
The creative team includes two other international members; Italian film editor Giacomo Ambrosini, and British composer Sam Sutton, who created the original score, and was on board and sketching from the second year of production.
When asked about the original ideas for the score, she laughed.
"There were so many! I knew Adam wanted to evolve music that didn't fall into clichés, and although Jamaica plays such an important part, he didn't want any reggae. We listened a lot and identified several themes that worked. From there, I started to write in earnest. Adam wanted the music to be an integral part of the story."
Editor Ambrosini, whose previous doc work was the untitled Red Hot Chili Peppers film, said, "As a European working in the United States, I was well aware of the immigration rules and regulations, post 9/11. My own experience made me even more sympathetic to the Jamaicans' journeys far from home. I was also fascinated by the complex global economy that effects even a small farmer."
After the films premiere in Rhode Island the film is scheduled to screen at several NY area venues and will premiere in Paris in October.
The film was produced with the assistance of NYFA and NYSCA.
More About Adam Matalon:
Adam is an emerging filmmaker and writer who started his directorial work in children's TV on the acclaimed series Sesame St. In addition to creating the character Jane Tuesday who stars in a series of live action shorts he directed and produced three titles in the home video library including All Star Alphabet (Stephen Colbert & Nicole Sullivan) Exploring Together (Matt Lauer) Moving Together (Sarah Jessica Parker) His short Sex & Camping was part of the 2006 Short Film Corner in Cannes and his first feature Death On Demand (which went into production three years after Seasons) was released on DVD this summer. He is currently working on a new a family feature scheduled to shoot next summer called Sparkle Serena!