"Harvest of Empire": New Film explores the history of Latinos in America

The untold story, documentary gives voice to undocumented immigrants in U.S.

EFE Agency

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Washington. - Wendy Thompson-Marquez, a Peruvian who for eight years worked as an undocumented nanny, presented her documentary "Harvest of Empire," which shows the human side of the crisis of undocumented immigrants in the United States.

In an interview with EFE Agency, Thompson-Marquez, 46-year-old filmmaker said the film seeks to provide the "historical context" for the Latino presence in the United States and to contribute to the debate on immigration reform.

"Harvest of Empire: The Untold Story of Latinos in America" is based on a book by New York columnist Juan Gonzalez, and received the financial backup from Asian, African-American, and Latin leaders.

"We were seeing on television and on the radio a negative and stereotyped image of the Latino community, and we decided to make this documentary," said Thompson-Marquez about the film, co-directed by Salvadoran filmmaker Eduardo Lopez and scheduled to be release on 2013.

The producer said she hopes her documentary "helps mobilize people who already support reform, (and gets) people to understand the impact of foreign policy on the immigration phenomenon and for the public to have a historical view, a new perspective of the positive contributions of Latinos to America."

“America is a global experiment in diversity. The strength of this country comes from this diversity, and the opportunity it gives to people who are willing to work and fight,” added Thompson-Marquez, who immigrated to the United States in 1987.

The film details the Salvadoran diaspora of the 1980s, marked by a bloody civil war in the Central America country. With the help of numerous historical facts, the documentary emphasizes that 350,000 Mexican and Puerto Rican soldiers served with the U.S. military in World War II, and includes interviews with Dominican author Junot Diaz, Puerto Rican poet Martin Espada and 1992 Novel Peace Prize, Rigoberta Menchu.

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