Experiencing Interruptions?

The Harvest

Gurwinder comes from Punjab, he’s been working for years as a farm hand in Agro Pontino, not far from Rome.
Since he first came in Italy, he’s been living with the rest of the Sikh community in Latina province. Hardeep is also Indian, but her stress is Roman, and she works as a cultural mediator.
She, born and raised in Italy, is trying to free herself from the memories of a family that emigrated in another age, while he is forced, against his faith, to take methamphetamine and doping to bear the heavy work pace, to be able to send money in India.
Gurwinder’s story represents a vast universe of exploitation: a silent army of men bent over the fields working, with no breaks, all around Italy. Manually harvesting vegetables, sowing and planting 12 hours a day under the sun; they call their employer “Lord”, undergo oppression and any kind of violence.
4 euros per hour if they’re lucky, paid after months or sometimes never, violence and blows, work-related injuries which are never reported and easy “dismissals” for who tries to react.
That’s what The Harvest tells: the life inside the Sikh communities living permanently in the Pontine and their relationship with labour market. The members of these communities are mainly employed as day labourers for local agriculture. The episodes of exploitation (gang-master system, piece rates, low salaries, physical and verbal violence) were reported many times, mostly by local associations. Alongside these events, the use of performance-enhancing substances saw a stunning growth, in order to tolerate the hard pace of work in the fields. Substances that, in particular, are amphetamines, oppioids and antispasmodics.
The issue of exploitation in farm work and, in particular, of migrant manpower becomes central every summer, gaining attention by the media and bringing to the surface critical issues like gang-master system. Although, this attention is cyclical and disappears when autumn comes.
The Harvest wants to face this issue through an innovative lens combining the styles of documentary and musical, this one used as a plot device to tell the strain of working in the fields and the use of performance-enhancing substances. Through a musical and cinematographic research, this movie wants to tell something that would be hard to bring to the audience attention without being grandiloquent or doctrinaire. To find an innovative artistic form to tell the rough reality that tends to hide in the folds of the everyday life: this is the stylistic crux the documentary faces.
A docu-musical that, for the first time, combines the documentary and the traditional Punjabi choreographies, to show the humiliation of the workers in the fields exploited by the gang-masters.
Two stories intertwining, during one day, from the work in the fields from the first hours of the morning to the evening prayer in the temple.
A though work of seeding, day after day, whose deserved harvest, between residence permits to be renewed and fake pay checks, still appears very far.

  • Andrea Paco Mariani
  • Andrea Paco Mariani
  • SMK Videofacory
  • Hardeep Kaur
    Key Cast
  • Gurwinder Singh
    Key Cast
  • Marco Omizzolo
    Key Cast
  • Salvo Lucchese
  • Corrado Iuvara
  • Angelica Gentilini
  • Nicola Zambelli
    Second Camera Operator
  • Bhangra Vibes
    Artistical Cast
  • Slick Steve and the Gangsters
    Artistical Cast
  • Mario Coccetti
    Artistical Cast
  • Claudio Cadei
    Original Soundtrack
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    The Harvest
  • Project Type:
    Documentary, Experimental, Music Video
  • Genres:
    Documentary, fiction, musical
  • Runtime:
    1 hour 13 minutes
  • Completion Date:
    September 1, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Language:
    English, Hindi, Italian
  • Shooting Format:
    Full HD
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • HumanDoc Film Festival 2017
    November 26, 2017
    Special Mention
  • Delhi International Film Festival 2017
    New Delhi
    December 5, 2017
    Official Selection
  • Cineteca di Bologna
    January 19, 2018
    Italian Theatrical Premiere
  • Noida International Film Festival 2018
    January 28, 2018
    Best Feature Documentary Award
  • Working Title Film Festival 2018
    April 27, 2018
  • Cine Pobre Film Festival 2018
    La Paz
    May 3, 2018
    Official Selection
  • FINCA 2018
    Buenos Aires
    June 6, 2018
    South American Premiere
    Segundo Premio Competencia Oficial de Largometrajes Internacionales
  • Cinemambiente 2018
    June 3, 2018
Distribution Information
  • OpenDDB
    Country: Italy
    Rights: All Rights, Video on Demand, Theatrical
Director Biography - Andrea Paco Mariani

Born in Brescia (Italy) on 23.02.1983. In 2010 he achieve
an advanced degree in "Cultures and human rights", after studying Political Science in Bologna (Italy). He starts working as a professional videomaker in 2008, while he was studying and researching in Sarajevo.
The next year he creates SMK Videofactory, building a network
of artists for the production of professional video and photographic projects. "Tomorrow's Land" (2011), "An ephemeral madness" (2012), "Green Lies"(2014), "Vite al Centro"(2014), "Our oil?" (2016), "The Harvest" (2017).

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Director Statement

SMK Videofactory is an independent production company founded in 2009 in Bologna by a group of media activists. In these years SMK produced mainly social-focused documentaries and investigative reports.
SMK firmly believes in new models of Crowdfunding production and in the idea that producing audio-visual works in a different way is possible. Its first crowdfunding project dates back to 2011 for the movie “Tomorrow’s Land”.
From that moment on, SMK produced a sequence of documentaries through crowdfunding campaigns: “Kosovo vs Kosovo” (2012), “Una follia effimera” (2012), “Green Lies” (2014), “Vite al Centro” (2014), “Quale Petrolio?” (2016).
In the wake of the experience of Tomorrow’s Land self-distribution, SMK founded in 2013 “Distribuzioni dal Basso”, an internet portal which supports the distribution of audiovisual works of rising directors and independent film studios from all around Italy. Today Distribuzioni dal Basso has become OpenDDB, the first European portal of creative Works in Creative Commons.