Director and producer Juan Carlos Oseguera hopes that his documentary film “The Fight for Water: A Farm Worker Struggle” will not only personify the water shortage afflicting the state, but enlighten individuals about the severity of the drought that has been scorching the region for the past four years.
“This is an ongoing issue and the water situation definitely hasn’t gotten better,” said Oseguera.
Oseguera, who is a San Francisco State University alumnus, initially decided to produce and direct the eye-opening documentary after he came to terms with the fact that he knew little himself of the crippling water crisis plaguing the region.
“I live in the area and I wasn’t aware of the water situation and how it affected people here in this region,” said Oseguera. “When I was making the movie, I was learning a lot more about the water situation that I did not fully understand before—how water regulations and policies work from the actual farmers who were being affected.
“What I tried to do with the movie is capture the human aspect of it—not so much about the water, but how water affects human life,” continued Oseguera.
Although the documentary film examines various precursors and future implications of the California drought, it primarily follows a water march held by a coalition of farmers, farm workers and the community of Firebaugh after the protection of an endangered fish species led to the drastic water depletion of the region of in 2009.
“The Department of Fish and Wildlife was sued by environmental groups to protect the Delta smelt,” said farmer Joe Del Bosque in the documentary film’s trailer. “What that did effectively was cut back water that would have been delivered to us.”
Del Bosque received national attention when President Barack Obama visited his farm in 2014 to address the current drought in California.
“We were the first ones to take the hit, we were the first ones to be cut back,” said Del Bosque, “and we were the ones that were cut back the most severely.”
The documentary has already screened at over 30 locations worldwide through film festivals and special screenings and has already garnered recognition for its filmmaking and cinematography.
“The Fight for Water: A Farm Worker Struggle” is available on DVD through Best Buy, Barnes & Noble, Amazon and many other retailers. The film’s distributor, Passion River Films, will also shelve it at film libraries and educational institutions.
For more information on the film, including where to find it, visit thefightforwaterfilm.com or visit the film’s Facebook page at facebook.com/thefightforwaterfilm.