Synopsis by Tracie Cooper
Directed by Hart Perry, this documentary centers around the experience of Mexican-Americans in the heart of conservative Texas. The focus is on the onion-laborers strike of 1972 -- hence its nickname, the Valley of Tears -- which resulted from horrific conditions and laughable "living" wages. The strike stirred up the already rampant inequality within Lambertville, TX, which has persisted within the Texas town (and, arguably, throughout the Deep South) until present day. Raymondville's Hispanic children have a disturbingly high expulsion rate from the public schools, while the migrant farming industry is still ridden with problems and almost exclusively populated by Mexican workers. Though the documentary hardly puts Texas in a good light, interview footage and several recent political victories ends the film on a hopeful note. Valley of Tears was screened at the South by Southwest Film Festival.
laborer, Mexican [nationality], striker