Documentary | 1998 | 57 mins | DVD
Ethnicity: South Asian
ROOTS IN THE SAND is a multi-generational portrait of the nearly to 5,000 Punjabi men who settled in Southern California’s Imperial Valley, just north of the Mexican border, a century ago. Seeking to earn enough money to return to their homes in India, they instead encountered not just abysmal wages and working conditions, but also anti-miscegenation and anti-immigration laws that prevented Punjabi women from joining them in the U.S. The award-winning documentary details how these pioneers pooled their resources, leased land and grew their own crops even as they married Mexican women and started new families. Through found footage, archival and family photographs, and personal and public documents, filmmaker Jayasri Hart tells the touching and inspirational story of a community that grew out of a struggle for economic survival in the face of hardship and prejudice.