The Harvester: The Memories behind the Machinery
Dr. Yovanna Pineda spent three weeks in Argentina directing her documentary The Harvester. Joining her was Professor Scott Launier, UCF Department of Writing and Rhetoric, who assisted with filming, lighting, and driving through towns and cities in Santa Fé province to record interviews, nature, and farm machinery.
Often she is asked “what is your film about?” Her short answer is “farm machinery.” But indeed this film is far more than the story of old, rusted machines on farm lands across the Argentine Pampas. Through interviews, archival footage, and narration, The Harvester explains the importance of technology in forming a community identity and with a focus on farm machinery. It illustrates the memories of the engineers, farmers, harvest contractors, and factory owners who created and used the machinery. The endearing stories range from women’s adventures traveling alongside the harvest contract crew to the engaged couple who gave up a wedding party and honeymoon to afford the purchase of an old harvester that had been neglected and used as a chicken coup. In this process, we discover Argentine harvesters were exported well beyond the Santa Fe region, into the rest of the country, and other South American nations. There were even engineering interactions between engineers from Santa Fe and the former Soviet Bloc nations. Ultimately, the film shows that technological innovation not only exists in developing nations, but thrives within small rural towns.