By Altha J. Cravey, Associate Professor
Geography Department UNC at Chapel Hill
This film will make you laugh and cry and empathize with Mexican migrants whose lives are caught up in the winds of globalization. Your students will identify with the hopes and dreams and fears of the families’ younger brother Marcelo as his story unfolds. They will want to know why Marcelo’s parents cannot make a good living in Mexico and why Marcelo feels compelled to risk life and limb in his “illegal” journey to Kentucky. The intimate family portrait highlights love, despair, loneliness, and resilience. In the classroom, the video can be linked to a discussion of migration, globalization, labor and immigration policy, transnational connections, or such topics as NAFTA, CAFTA, the Bracero Program, and Latinos. The human story of four brothers in the video will breath life into these abstract topics and will provoke your students to pursue a deeper understanding of Mexican immigration to the US. Class discussion can feature one or more topics and, depending on the nature of the course, you can adapt classroom activities, assignments, or individualized research.
The video will be useful and provocative for courses about globalization, migration, Latin America, or Latinos. It would also be effective in introductory courses on Human Geography, American Studies, or International Studies. The PBS website for the video has a wealth of resources that may be helpful in designing specific classroom activities.
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