Filmmaker: Harvey Richards • Publisher: Estuary Press
The Land Is Rich documents the United Farm Workers struggle to organize California farm workers in the early 1960’s. It includes their march from Delano to Sacramento in the spring of 1966. The film contrasts the economic strength of California agribusiness with the migrant workers’ poverty shown in bread lines, living conditions and the impact of extensive exposure to agricultural chemicals. Starting out in Delano in March, 1966, marchers led by Cesar Chavez and a banner of the Virgin de Guadeloupe, walked for 340 miles, taking 15 miles per day, to Sacramento where they joined the biggest rally for farm workers in the history of the state. In The Land Is Rich, Richards presented footage of this pilgrimage and rally at the State Capitol, along with footage of the grape strike and other struggles that had led to the march. The music of Luis Valdez was recorded on the march and is featured in the film. Harvey Richards’ footage of California farm workers captured the look and feel of a formative moment in the creation of industrial agriculture in the central valley of California in the period from 1957 to 1966.