Still from Migrant Dreams
Still from Migrant Dreams

On Demand

Migrant Dreams

by Min Sook Lee
A powerful documentary that exposes the under-told story of migrant agricultural workers struggling against Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program.
2016  ·  1h28m  ·  Canada
English, Espanol, Indonesian
English, French subs
About the Film

MIGRANT DREAMS tells the undertold story of migrant agricultural workers struggling against Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) that treats foreign workers as modern-day indentured labourers and ties low-wage migrants to one employer. Min Sook Li’s incisive film exposes the underbelly of the Canadian government labour program that has built a system designed to empower brokers and growers to exploit, dehumanize and deceive migrant workers who have virtually no access to support or information in their own languageWorkers willing to pay exorbitant fees to work at minimum wage jobs packing the fruits and vegetables we eat in our homes. Canada it seems, has failed them.

Activist Cathy sets up secretive meetings with Evelyn, a member of Justice for Migrant Workers. They are the lifeline for a group of Indonesian migrant agricultural workers who find themselves trapped in a web of lies, and coerced by threats of deportation from agents and greenhouse owners. The workers, most of whom are women, have been recruited to work in Canada packing vegetables inside greenhouse operations, by agents who illegally charge upwards to seven thousand dollars in agency fees. Unable to afford the levy, migrants use their Canadian wages to pay back their debt to the agents.

The workers’ dreams are pinned to the hope that their two-year contracts will be renewed for another two years. Only ‘good behavior’ will secure a contract renewal. Speaking out is the last thing they can afford to do. But by the time we meet the group, comprised mostly of women, speaking out and resisting is the only thing left to do.

Distribution Availability: Canada (Theatrical, Institutional/Educational); Worldwide (Non-Theatrical, Community Screenings, Broadcast, Internet Rights)

Cinema Politica is the proud distributor of Migrant Dreams. Visit our distribution catalog to learn more about the licensing options.
Upcoming Screenings

Stay tuned for upcoming screenings!

Festivals and Awards
Brazilian International Labour Film Festival / Mostra Cine Trabalho at Sao Paulo State University (UNESP), Winner, Luis Espinal Prize
7th annual Canadian Hillman Prize for Journalism, Winner
Movies that Matter, Official Selection
Windsor International Film Festival, Official Selection
Devour! The Food Film Festival, Official Selection
Antigonish Film Festival, Official Selection
One World Film Festival, Official Selection
CNEX Documentary Film Festival, Official Selection
Fort McMurray International Film Festival, Official Selection
Gimli Film Festival, Official Selection
CWA Canada / CAJ Award For Labour Reporting, Winner
Northwest Fest, Official Selection
DOXA Documentary Film Festival, Vancouver, Official Selection
Hot Docs International Film Festival, Toronto, Top Ten Audience Favourite | World Premiere
In the Press
POV Magazine
Daily VICE
Iris Ng and Min Sook Lee
Sound Design and Mix
Daniel Pellerin
Lisa Valencia-Svensson and Min Sook Lee
Online Editor
Andrew Mandziuk
Soundtrack Composer
Ken Myhr
Min Sook Lee
Film Related
About the Director

Min Sook Lee

Min Sook Lee is an award winning filmmaker. She is the co-creator of the hit comedy series ‘SHE’S THE MAYOR’ which premiered on Vision TV in 2011. She has produced and directed numerous critically acclaimed documentaries, including: The Real MASH – the true story of the people that inspired the fiction TV series, MY TOXIC BABY – one mother’s journey into the world of toxins in baby products, TIGER SPIRIT – a reunification story shot in North and South Korea (Donald Brittain Gemini Award for Best Social/Political Documentary), HOGTOWN (Best Feature-length Canadian Documentary award at Hot Docs Festival); BADGE OF PRIDE – the story of gay cops in Toronto – and EL CONTRATO – a look at the lives of migrant farm workers in Canada (nominated for the Donald Brittain Gemini ).

Min Sook was also presented with the Cesar E. Chavez Black Eagle Award for EL CONTRATO’S impact on the rights of migrant workers. Min Sook’s films have been broadcast nationally on CBC, Global, TVO and History Television. Her films have traveled to festivals across North America, Europe and Asia. Min Sook has served as a judge and guest speaker for various film organizations including the Toronto International Film Festival, the Hot Docs Don Haig Award, the Imaginative Film Festival, Reel Asian Film Festival , the Reel World Film Festival and the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto.

Other films by Min Sook Lee