SUMMER BROWN BAG LABOR LUNCH SERIES sponsored by Kazan et al. + NLG Labor & Employment Committee + WORKSAFE!
Monday, July 8, 2013
Kazan McClain Satterley Lyons Greenwood & Oberman
55 Harrison Street #400, Oakland
The Wrath of Grapes
A United Farm Workers of America video. In 1985 Emmy-award winning producer Lorena Parlee met Cesar Chavez, leader of the United Farm Workers from 1962 until his death in 1993. At the time of their meeting, Parlee wanted to do a film about Chavez's life. She says Chavez responded to her request by saying, "You can one day, it's not time yet, but in the meantime could you do a little film for us." Parlee agreed to donate her labor, and their collaboration produced The Wrath of Grapes, the most widely-distributed advocacy video to date, with more than 250,000 free copies in circulation around the globe. The video describes the dangerous business of producing grapes, which are sprayed with more restricted pesticides than any other fruit or vegetable in the United States. Since the video was created to support the UFW's renewed grape boycott, it illustrates graphically the UFW's concerns. Women who worked in the fields during pregnancy describe their grief in giving birth to children with severe birth defects. Other children who live near the fields suffer from cancer. Parlee was conscientious about the difficulty the interviews posed for the families. "We visited [them] several times before we filmed the interviews because we wanted them to be sure they didn't feel used or exploited. Even though they wanted to warn others about the horrors of pesticides, it was hard for them. It was hard for us, too." By contrasting images of helicopters dousing grape fields with slow motion images of a mother washing grapes for a small child, The Wrath of Grapes brings the issue home to every consumer. (15 minutes)