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Untitled Oxnard Project (working title)

Bill Yahraus
Robin Rosenthal

Untitled Oxnard Project spends a year with a group of Mexican-born Mixtec, Zapotec and Purépecha teens and young adults whose families labor in the fields of Oxnard, California—Strawberry Capital of the World. Moving from the berry rows to the classroom, from traditional Oaxacan "devil dancing" to May Day demonstrations, the documentary takes an intimate look at the unique challenges they face, both individually and together, as they navigate economic necessity, access to higher education, cultural preservation, and the social and environmental justice needs of their indigenous farmworker community.

For these young people—bound together by shared vulnerability and the desire to change their families’ destinies—progress can be elusive. As they begin to map their futures, our government is rolling back the very protections they seek to gain. Weakened environmental regulations, lax labor laws, a push for more deportations…and suddenly Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) is rescinded, driving a stake into the heart of their community.

Interwoven with the characters’ journeys is a decision the City of Oxnard must make, a dilemma with echoes across the country. Oxnard has been challenged to declare itself a Sanctuary City. Much is at risk for a place with such large numbers of undocumented agricultural workers, as the City weighs security for its residents against the threat to its fiscal solvency from potential retribution.

In times like these, for young people whose lives have always been steeped in uncertainty, it takes a tremendous leap of faith to chase a dream.

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