H-2 Worker

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H-2 Worker
Directed by Stephanie Black
Produced by Stephanie Black
Music by Various, including "H-2 Worka" by Mutabaruka
Cinematography Maryse Alberti
Edited by John Mullen
Distributed by New Video
Release date
  • 1990 (1990)
Running time
67 min
Country United States
Language English

H-2 Worker is a 1990 documentary film about the exploitation of Jamaican guest workers in Florida's sugar cane industry. It was directed by Stephanie Black, and won the Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize for documentaries in the 1990 festival.[1] It was shot in Belle Glade, Clewiston, and Okeelanta, Florida as well as Jamaica and includes cane fields and worker camps (Ritta Village, Prewitt Village) owned by US Sugar Corporation and the Okeelanta Corporation.

The cane harvesters were brought in to perform the autumn harvest of sugar cane under the H-2A Visa program. The Jamaicans replaced earlier generations of Bahamian seasonal workers who in turn replaced migrant labor recruited from the Cotton Belt (region) in the first half of the 20th century. A documentary short that accompanies the DVD version of the film states that human labor was abandoned for mechanical harvesters in 1992.

The film features interviews with a United States Department of Labor official, a Florida Sugar Cane League official, Jamaican Prime Minister Michael Manley, local merchants, and a dozen or so field workers. It also includes footage of César Chávez, US Representative Thomas Downey, and US Senator Bill Bradley.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Sundance Festival: History". Archived from the original on February 27, 2009. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
For All Mankind
Sundance Grand Jury Prize: Documentary
1990
Succeeded by
American Dream