Rancho California (Por Favor)

Produced by: John Caldwell

59 min. Color. 2003.

Captioned: No

Catalog #: 0109

Price: $250.00

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Product Description

This thought-provoking, widely acclaimed visual essay provides a troubling journey through migrant farmworker camps in suburban southern California — Rancho de los Diablos, Kelly Camp, Porterville, McGonigle Canyon — where homeless indigenous Mixteco workers coexist near gated designer-home enclaves in Carlsbad, La Costa, Encinitas, and Del Mar.

In a remarkable feat of artistic and political fusion, the film explores the charged debate over the meaning and consequences of immigrant culture near America’s southern border, and along the way examines the complex realities of race and class in this country.

“Rancho California” begins by working through a set of media ideals about social participation and self-representation, but finally finds layers of complicity at the center of the region’s economy. Blending keen observation and insightful commentary, the film illustrates how racial identity and social roles are carefully cultivated parts of the landscape in a new “suburban plantation culture.” But the picture presented is not all bleak: the film also shows how grassroots development efforts by indigenous Mixteco organizers work to resist conditions of deprivation concealed in the heart of this otherwise scenic landscape.

“Rancho California” will engage and challenge students and it will generate analysis and discussion in a wide array of courses in Latino and ethnic studies, sociology, cultural anthropology, and American studies. It was produced by Prof. John Caldwell, who teaches media and cultural studies in the Dept. of Film and Television, UCLA.