Nuove Frontiere (1981)

Genres - Culture & Society  |   Sub-Genres - Race & Ethnicity, Social History, Social Issues  |   Run Time - 96 min.  |   Countries - Switzerland  |  
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Focusing on a process as old as time itself, director and writer Remo Legnazzi carefully examines the changing lifestyles of Italian-Swiss and Mexican immigrants in the Salinas Valley in California. In the first half of the 20th century, the Italians who immigrated from their homes in the Tessin region of Switzerland dominated the valley and worked the land. Soon large corporations started buying up land and businesses, and the old-timers were drafted into positions of middlemen between the corporate bosses and the new Mexican immigrants. As the older generation changed to accommodate to circumstances beyond their control, they still kept their own language and customs intact. But all that is ending - the younger generation has already lost much of its heritage, including the language. Now the elderly Italian-Swiss look at the new Mexican immigrants, with their dreams of returning to Mexico - and see the cycle being repeated once again, with another group of people. Both the Italian-Swiss settlers are observed in their new life styles, discussing topics such as how they feel about the Mexican workers, and the Mexicans themselves talk about how much their economic situation has improved compared to their lives in Mexico - it is deja vu, as the cycle of assimilation begins again.