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San Agustín - Marea baja en el mar del plástico 2012

Mercedes built the first greenhouses of San Agustín with her own two hands. She is now an old lady, and Andalusia has long since become Europe’s vegetable plantation, with 90% of the sweet peppers in our supermarkets coming from the so-called plastic coast. It’s a lucrative business – but not for the farmers of San Agustín, whose share of profits is miniscule. This results in many of them taking on cheap labour from illegal African immigrants. A mysterious virus that threatens to destroy the crop further compounds the situation – with the affair dubbed the “cucumber crisis”. In this portrayal of a village and its people, three filmmakers highlight in nine chapters the deeper workings of industrialised agriculture – presenting another side to Southern Spain, far from its image as a beach filled, party Mecca. Like the holiday industry, vegetable growing receives criticism for its excessive exaggeration. But who are the real black sheep?

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