The Harvest Review | Film Reviews | Los Angeles | Los Angeles News and Events | LA Weekly

The Harvest Review 

Thursday, Aug 4 2011
There's not a wasted frame in U. Roberto Romano's documentary The Harvest, in which he illustrates the real costs of the produce on your grocer's shelves. Volatile political issues (immigration matters, the imploding economy) all play out in the day-to-day struggles faced by three Latino kids and their families as they crisscross the country "chasing harvests." They gather tomatoes, strawberries, etc., for just pennies a pound, and it is backbreaking work. Romano doesn't beat you over the head in order to break your heart or prick your conscience; there's no overbearing music to manipulate your emotions or showy editing to bombard your senses. The drama (unlike the produce) is organic, and it doesn't need showboating to grab you. Romano, using long takes and quiet moments, focuses his camera on the micro (educations that fall by the wayside, familial tensions that simmer) as it's shaped by the macro (racism, poverty). The kids at the film's center - 12-year-old Zulema, 14-year-old Perla and 16-year-old Victor - haven't chalked up much classroom time, owing to heping their families in the fields, but they're insightful and eloquent when breaking down the forces working against them. One of the film's most powerful moments: A family is shopping at a market when the mom observes they can't afford the produce they helped harvest.

Location Info

Related Stories

  • Famous TV & Movie Houses 2

    Whether it’s a central location in a feature film or just an establishing shot on a sitcom, L.A. houses have seen some major Hollywood action. Whether Nancy’s place from A Nightmare on Elm Street in Hollywood or the Cunninghams' Milwaukee home in Happy Days (located in real life in Hancock Park), many...
  • These Students Spend Summers Making Animated Movies About the Holocaust

    Tucked into a makeshift studio at Harvard-Westlake High School on a Monday afternoon last month, a group of teenagers fiddled with cameras, adjusted key and filler lights and balanced out boom microphones. They were preparing to interview 88-year-old Holocaust survivor Curt Lowens for an animated short film. Lowens, who has...
  • Daniel Radcliffe Makes You Feel Old 3

    Daniel Radcliffe's first trip to Comic-Con kicked off like the world's cuddliest Nuremberg rally. This summer, just minutes after he walked into Hall H, the hangar-sized sardine can of 6,500 people sang him "Happy Birthday." It was an emotional moment for everyone. "The fact that I was turning 25 slightly...
  • What If Someone Made a Good Romantic Comedy?

    In the highly imperfect world of contemporary romantic comedies, What If is as close to perfect as anything we've got, not least for the way it captures the abject hopefulness of young people who'd like to be in love but don't know how to go about it. Who does know...
  • Elmore Leonard Deserves Better Than Life of Crime

    Weep at another whiff of an Elmore Leonard adaptation, one that nails down neither the peppery laughs nor the street-crime desperation that are key to the writer's work. Instead, the comedy is too broad to take the characters seriously, and the vibe is breezily aimless, a mistake in a story...

Related Content

Related Locations

Now Showing

  1. Tue 30
  2. Wed 1
  3. Thu 2
  4. Fri 3
  5. Sat 4
  6. Sun 5
  7. Mon 6

    Find capsule reviews, showtimes & tickets for all films in town.

    Sponsored by Fandor

Box Office Report

Scores provided by Rotten Tomatoes

Join My Voice Nation for free stuff, concert and dining info & more!

Movie Trailers

View all movie trailers >>

Now Trending