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  1. Labour study Short movie review: “Migrant Dreams”    


    Analyze the movie “Migrant Dreams”  



Subject Literature Pages 3 Style APA


Movie Review: Migrant Dreams

In the “Migrant Dreams”, the revered director with multiple awards, Min Sook Lee, partners with producer Lisa Valencia – an Emmy award-winner – to document the story of foreign agricultural workers barely surviving and gasping for breath under the manipulative Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) in Canada. Released on May 1, 2016, the documentary is centered around the punitive TFWP and the various forms of abuse that these migrant workers face despite coming to Canada to experience economic growth. It is an informative film revealing to the public the racist and dehumanizing aspects of the TFWP.

            Filmed in Ontario, Canada, the activist documentary film involves clandestine meetings between local activists, Cathy and Evelyn, and migrant workers. The workers are ensnared in a web of deception and bullied by deportation threats. Usually, the workers (who are mostly women) would not reveal what they go through. However, due to the injustices done to them with nowhere to turn to, they choose to speak out in defiance. Still, they are afraid. So afraid are the migrant workers that they want to meet Cathy and Evelyn in groups. They do not trust each other to keep secret the meetings they have with Cathy and Evelyn.

            The daring and informative nature of the local activists and the migrant workers in the film concerning the forms of abuse against them renders the film likeable. The local activists go out of their way to highlight the underbelly of the TFWP. The migrant workers also intrigue the audience by candidly revealing the injustices advanced to them by brokers, growers and employers. For instance, despite the Canadian law clearly stating that insulting language classifies as verbal abuse and that it is punishable by law, verbal abuse seems to occur to many temporary foreign workers. In the film, Adrian, a black migrant worker, explains how his employers called him a monkey and standing up for his rights led to the termination of his contract. Another intriguing example of abuse is the discrimination leveled against the migrant workers. Neji, for example, is injured in an accident at work. Instead of giving him a light duty because of the accident, he is discriminatively fired. The exposure to dangerous chemicals and workplace hazards is still another injustice revealed in the film. The film seems to ask the questions, how can such inhumane practices be condoned in an advanced country such as Canada? How can people celebrate the local food system yet it is built on the foundations of ethnic and racial discrimination against the very people that keep it in place? It seems to call the Canadian people to action, the clarion call being, “End the injustices towards temporary foreign workers.”  

            In summary, Migrant Dreams, a documentary film highlights the injustices advanced towards temporary foreign workers. The local activists and migrant workers, through a daring and informative approach, call the Canadian people to action, the clarion call being, “End the injustices towards temporary foreign workers.”  



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