...and the earth did not swallow him

Click here for a larger picture

"...rich, thematically varied and blessed with fine, naturalistic acting..."  Austin American-Statesman

"...a Latino version of The Grapes of Wrath."

"...at the heart of what the American dream is all about."

"...universal themes that most viewers can identify with, regardless of one's race and cultural background." The San Diego Union-Tribune

"...a window into the world of migrant workers."  The Salt Lake Tribune

"A hit at festivals in the United States and Europe..."  The Texas Observer


    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 trago la tierra, ("TIERRA") written by Tomas Rivera and published in 1971, the film is a feature-length drama produced for AMERICAN PLAYHOUSE, PBS's weekly drama series. TIERRA 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, TIERRA 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.

Key Production Staff


Director and Writer

Executive Producers

Associate Producer


Production Design

Director of Photography


Paul Espinosa

Severo Perez

Lindsay Law

Paul Espinosa

Bob Morones

Susan Heick

Armin Ganz

Virgil Harper

Severo Perez

Click Here for a Full Cast List

Press Releases and Reviews


Awards and Honors

Original Release: 1996

Back to Main Page