Harvest of Empire | Movie review
Journalist Juan González serves as a guide to an illustrated version of his book.
Investigative journalist Juan González serves as the main onscreen guide in an illustrated version of his book of the same title. The gist: A long history of American wars and intervention in Latin America has created the root causes—violence, poverty and instability—that have spurred immigration to the United States. If this responsibility were more widely acknowledged, the movie argues, attitudes on the immigration debate might be different. The thesis is potent, and the historical primers (on U.S. sugar markets in Puerto Rico, changing attitudes toward Cuban exiles, the Iran-Contra scandal and so on) are often worthwhile. But the presentation is TV-like and relentlessly unvaried, heavy on synth music and over-reliant on talking-head interviews.