Bright, Young, In Limbo: Film Sees Migrant Farm Life Through A Child's Eyes



José Anzaldo is a bright, cheerful third-grader in Salinas, Calif. He loves school, he’s a whiz at math, and, like lots of little boys his age, he wants to be a firefighter when he grows up. He also entered the country illegally, and his parents are migrant farmworkers who harvest lettuce.

What will become of this promising young boy? That question drives East of Salinas, a documentary premiering Monday on PBS’s Independent Lens. It’s a story we rarely hear about the families who are helping to put vegetables on our dinner plates.

Harvesting sweet potatoes: Workers sort the potatoes in the field, collecting small and large ones in different buckets. Each bucket weighs 30 pounds or so. A worker will shoulder that bucket and dump it into a flatbed truck 400 to 500 times a day. It's a daily load of six or seven tons of sweet potatoes.

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