Hot Docs 2016 Review: “Migrant Dreams” (2016) ★★★★★


Do you know what is the best benefit you get when you write for your own website? It’s that you have complete freedom to write about anything you want without worrying your content to being subjected to editing or altered due to sensitive subjects. For that, you don’t need to write about politics, but to pick the relevant subject told in a movie or documentary film and give it a well deserved voice to be heard by many.

How many of you are aware of what really happens with the labor workers that come to Canada? While we all have a fruitful life, most of those labor workers have to go through hell, and for some reason, being ignored by authority. While you enjoy your two or three bedroom apartment or house, the Indonesians and Philippine workers of greenhouse in Leamington, Ontario must share the same warehouse where approximately 45 people live in a small tiny place. Yes, it’s not the migrant dream that most of us wished to come true. But it’s the reality of a well advanced country that somehow overlooked the biggest issue that was under their nose.

Nanik is a mother who sends her income to her husband to help him raise their two children. Umi also sends money back home, wishing one day to have her own business. Dwipa and Rahmi are two young women from different religions and background who fall for each other. All of them share the same fate, painful reality, and a life you would not even wish for your enemy. They pack vegetables inside of a greenhouse and are stuck in the endless web of lies that comes from their agents, employers, and government who somehow closes its eyes to such injustice.

They are being blackmailed: they are always in constant fear of being deported if they don’t obey the rules of their cruel bosses who care about nothing but money. Cathy is a local activist who helps agriculture workers to speak up and assist the police with the investigation. But the fear of being sent back home or lose an opportunity to earn a bit of money makes them to stay quiet… But that happens only for a certain amount of time, when all of them in the end feel fed up so much that they decided to stand up for their rights. They understand that their fight may bring them nothing, but can help other workers who wish to work in Canada in order to not fall victim of citizen bosses and government.

“Migrant Dreams” is a powerful feature documentary film about agriculture workers struggling with Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program that treats foreign indentured laborers as slave. This film brings up the issues you hardly can imagine, but certainly, won’t leave you indifferent. This is not only a must see film if you want to see the other side of life, but also will make you realize that sometimes some dreams should never come true… such as leaving your own country and family for a foreign country that will treat you with no respect.

Screening Time:

Sun, May 1 9:00 PM TIFF Bell Lightbox 2 

Tue, May 3 1:15 PM Scotiabank Theatre 3
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