The Harvest is a narrative experiment featuring the lives of actual people, who sometimes had to play themselves and some other times had to play fictional characters influenced by the harsh reality we decided to investigate.
The day labourer
Gurwinder is 34. He’s born in India, in a region called Punjab, in a middle-class family.
After his studies he decided to follow his brother who had already left for Italy looking for a brighter future. Thanks to the information received by his fellow countrymen, he moves to the Latina province, but there he is only able to find a job as a day labourer for some farms. His days in the fields can last up to 14 hours, while receiving just a few euros.
In the movie he plays himself, reenacting his own story of liberation from the violence of labour exploitation and from the retaliations hitting who decides to stop lowering his head to the gang-master and starts to claim his rights.
The researcher and activist
Marco Omizzolo is a sociologist, scientific manager of the In Migrazione cooperative and president of the research centre “Tempi Moderni”, his studies and researches are focused on community services, migrations and on organised crime. In The Harvest he plays himself, telling the outcome of his own research and raising public awareness on the testimonies of many Indian day labourers who turned to In Migrazione trying to fight the working conditions inflicted to them by the farms in Agro Pontino. These reports, that allow the audience to understand the seriousness of the situation of violation of human rights taking place in the fields of this Italian land, have been Marco’s daily working tool for 10 years now.
The cultural mediatori
Hardeep was born near Latina 30 years ago. Daughter of a man from Punjab who arrived in Rome in 1979, her roman accent is strong and she got married to an Italian boy under an Indian ceremony. Today she works as a cultural mediator for the Indian community in Agro Pontino and teaches Italian to the immigrants. Her role in The Harvest is the faithful reproduction of her daily routine, that comes from a strong inclination: “To mediate is the most natural thing for me, since I was a kid the teacher asked me to translate for my classmates who were just arrived”.
The gang-master and his helpers
Steven Hogan is an Italian-British singer, frontman of Slick Steve and the Gangsters. In the movie, he plays the role of Gurwinder’s employer, owner of a small farm exploiting underpaid manpower, reenacting the blackmailing that many Indian day labourers reported.
The Gangsters: Alle B. Goode (guitar), Pietro Gozzini (double bass) and Beppe Facchetti (drums) are Slik Steve and the Gangsters’ musicians. They play the employer’s helpers, who guard the day labourers’ work throughout the long days in the fields.
Banghra Vibes is a group of young dancers born between Mantova and Cremona. However, their personal and family story comes from far away, right from where many Agro Pontino day labourers come from: Punjab. Although many of them were born in Italy, they decided to rediscover one of the traditional dances of Punjab: Bhangra. Bhangra is made of movements that come from the fields, and in the movie they come back where they belong, to tell a current situation full of contradictions: the one of the Agro Pontino in 2017.
“Participating to this project allowed us to remember the stories of exploitation that our parents told us about. It is important not to forget what they did for us and what they underwent.”