Mercyhurst Screens Film Exploring Lives of Migrant Farmworkers

Four Mercyhurst University departments are collaborating to present After I Pick the Fruit, a personal and moving documentary that follows the lives of five immigrant farmworkers, on Tuesday, March 19, at 7 p.m. in the Taylor Little Theatre.

The film, sponsored by the Mercyhurst Institute for Arts & Culture, Campus Ministry, the social work department and the criminal justice department, is the recipient of the 2012 Award of Excellence at the International Film Festival for Peace, Inspiration and Equality. The event is free and open to the public and features a panel discussion after the screening.

After I Pick the Fruit tells the stories of five immigrant farmworker women over a 10-year period as they labor in the apple orchards and fields of rural western New York, migrate seasonally to Florida, raise their families, and try to hide from the Bush-era immigration raids that were conducted in response to 9/11.

Filmed in New York, Florida and Mexico, this intimate and bittersweet film illuminates a community that is nearly invisible to most Americans, and challenges the audiences’ perception of the national “immigration problem.”

About the Panelists

Nancy Ghertner, the producer of the film, will be among the four panelists featured in the discussion. Ghertner is a visual artist and filmmaker of both experimental and documentary films, many of which have focused on the plight of farmworkers. Her film credits include 330 Miles to Justice, a documentary about the 2003 Farmworker’s March from Seneca Falls to Albany, in which she served as a producer and cinematographer. Other documentary projects include In Our Own Backyard: The Hidden Realities of Women Farmworkers, Mother Rabbit Watching and Across Cultures. Ghertner was a founding member of the Farmworker Women’s Institute and served as a board member for the Wayne County Multi-Cultural Arts Project. She is a member of Wayne Action for Racial Equality (WARE). She and her husband, John “Lory” Ghertner, participate in the Justice for Farmworker Movement and are founders of the Church Watch, which defended the right of migrant and immigrant community members to attend their church during 2008 and 2009.

The Mercyhurst panelists include Natasha Duncan, Ph.D., assistant professor in the political science department, who enjoys teaching courses in international relations and comparative politics – especially in the area of international political economy and Latin American and Caribbean politics. Born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, Duncan came to the United States in 1999. Her current research is on international migration, particularly the political economy of labor migration policies and the impact of these policies on international labor migration flows.

Panelist Bora Pajo, Ph.D., assistant professor in the sociology and social work department, is originally from Albania and moved to the United States 11 years ago. She brings the expertise of understanding the struggles of assimilation and acculturation in a new society. Pajo specializes is children’s behavioral problems and the use of psychiatric medications to control these behaviors.

Kris Gossett, Ph.D., assistant professor of business, understands the challenges facing farmers in the new economy – his father’s whole family farmed for a living, and his uncle still runs the family farm. New to Mercyhurst, Gossett’s research interests center in motivational theory, specifically fairness and equity.

Don’t miss After I Pick the Fruit, an intimate and compelling film that explores the lives of migrant farmworkers. Read more about the film at

For more information about the screening, call 814-824-3000 or visit