“This excellent film fills a real gap in our understanding of the complexity of the Italian immigration experience,” says Carol McKibben, a historian at Stanford University, of our film, “Finding the Mother Lode: Italian Immigrants in California”. In it, we explore how Italian immigrants to California found economic success and social acceptance unlike any they had found in other parts of the United States. It is not a well-known story. The same is true also for the important role that Italian immigrant women played in building the family’s economy.
Our film explores the California Italian history through the stories of men and women in seven communities throughout California woven together with comments from major scholars in the field. As you can see from our trailer, they are stories of tragedies and struggles, as well as successes. They also speak of the larger story of immigration, of how opportunity becomes possible for some groups and not for others, and how the immigrant community is changed over time.
We now have the opportunity to have this story broadcast on PBS (the US Public Broadcasting System). However, we will need to cut the current 104-minute film in three 30-minute films. We will also need to clear rights for the archival materials, do color correction and mix sound to meet broadcast specifications, and pay for the distribution and promotion of the films. We need your help to make this possible. We hope you will agree with us that this is an important part of the Italian story and of the immigration story in the United States and that it needs to be better known.