. . . and the earth did not swallow him
(1994) 99 minutes
The film is an adaptation of the prize-winning novel . . . y no se lo trago la tierra by Tomas Rivera. Set in 1952, and seen through the eyes of Marcos, a twelve-year-old boy, the story follows a family’s migrant journey through a year in their lives. Marcos is the second son of a migrant farmworker family; his brother is missing in action in the Korean war.
The family travels to Minnesota, following the crops. The housing is awful; sometimes the boss furnishes no water to the workers, and TB goes untreated. In good times the pay is $15 a day for adults, half that for children. For a few sordid weeks, Marcos’ parents leave him in the care of a corrupt couple. He is expelled from school for fighting, and he finds solace in a graveyard. The boy’s recollections of the poignant, sometimes funny and sometimes terrifying experiences become a magical voyage of self-discovery.
Gold Medal, 12th Annual Television Movie Awards, 1997
Jury Awards, Vina del Mar International Film Festival (Chile), 1996
Sol Award, Best Feature film, CineSol Latino Film Festival, 1995
Best Feature, Minneapolis Riverton Film Festival, 1995
Un Certain Regard selection, Cannes International Film Festival, 1995
Premio Mesquite, Best Feature Film, San Antonio Cinefestival, 1995
Best Director, Cairo (Egypt) International Film Festival, 1994
Best of the Fest Audience Award, Santa Barbara Film Festival, 1994
Best Feature, San Diego Independent Film Festival, 1994
A film written, produced and directed by Severo Perez
Producer/Executive Producer for KPBS: Paul Espinosa
Music by Marcos Loya
Cinematography by Virgil Harper
Edited by Susan Heick and Howard Hurd
Starring: Jose Alcala, Rose Portillo, Marco Rodriguez, Danny Valdez, Lupe Ontiveros, Sal Lopez, Art Bonilla, Jeffrey Licon, Kevin Sifuentes, Chris Hendrie, Tony Genaro.
A Severo Perez Films / KPBS Production
Funding from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Corporation for Public Broadcasting, American Playhouse, and Severo Perez Films.
Distributed by American Playhouse, PBS series, 1996 – 2002
Distributed by Filmakers Library