…and the earth did not swallow him


A moving and powerful portrait of the life of a poor Mexican American boy and his migrant farm worker family as they struggle to adjust to life in American society. Adapted from the novel (…y no se lo tragó la tierra) written by Tomás Rivera and published in 1971, the film is a feature-length drama produced for AMERICAN PLAYHOUSE, PBS’s weekly drama series. The film presented for the first time in theaters and on American television, the perspective of migrant workers as told by one of their own. The author, Tomas Rivera, was himself a migrant worker as a child, and later went on to become the highest ranking Mexican American in higher education as the Chancellor of the University of California, Riverside. Told through the eyes of Marcos, a twelve-year-old boy, the film emphasizes Marcos’ desire to educate himself. Through its many human stories of growing up as a Mexican American, the story exposes the rich cultural traditions which have given shape to life in the American Southwest.


National PBS broadcast on American Playhouse, Best of the Festival, Minneapolis International Film Festival, Best of the Fest, Santa Barbara International Film Festival, Best Feature, San Antonio CineFestival, Best Feature, San Diego Filmmaker’s Showcase, Jury Award for Artistic Achievement, Cairo International Film Festival, Screened in competition at following Film Festivals: Mill Valley, San Sebastian (Spain), Festival of New Latin American Cinema (Cuba), Moscow, Hamptons, San Jose, Festival International de Biarritz (France), Chicago Latino, and Rimini (Italy), Hispanic Academy of Media Arts & Sciences National Conference, Kennedy Center screening, Washington DC

Producer – Paul Espinosa
Director/Writer/Co-Producer – Severo Perez
Executive Producers – Paul Espinosa, Lindsay Law
Starring – Jose Alcala, Marco Rodriguez, Rose Portillo, Art Bonilla, Lupe Ontiveros, Sam Vlahos, Daniel Valdez
A Production of KPBS-TV and Severo Perez Films