Middle 40-60% of all time (see others with this rank)
2004 (click here to see all competition films from this year)
Catherine Tambini, Carlos Sandoval, Catherine Turnhira, Karsla Ritter, John Blosmgarden, Mary Manhardt, Steven Schoenberg
In the current frigid national climate facing economic migrants, Carlos Sandoval and Catherine Tambini enter the traumatized world of Farmingville, a previously unassuming Long Island suburb that witnessed the beating and attempted murder of two Mexican day laborers. What the filmmakers find is the very dangerous, two-edged sword of a growing national crisis: on the one side, the community's increasing population of undocumented aliens, who are crowding into single-family dwellings and assembling on early morning street corners, hoping to grab a day's wage; so the other, Farmingville's home-owning families, many of whom have lived there for generations and are watching what they envision as a bucolic little village slipping away.
Amid a conflict pitting the providence of dreams against the privileges (and rights) of property, Sandoval and Tambini resist the urge to make agitprop, almost agonizingly presenting both sides of the conflict while, at the same time, chronicling how a small town in upheaval can get co-opted into a national nightmare. Anti-immigration groups, racist hatemongers and even local figures with specialized agendas rise asd fall throughout the telling of the Farmingville tale. More than a story about suburbs, property values, immigration, and racism, Farmingville is ultimately about the conflicted concept of what being American means.
Diane Weyermann (see other films reviewed by the same reviewer)