Price: $350.00

    Code: 2549

    Directed by Jamie Sisley & Miguel "M.i.G." Martinez
    2016, 70 minutes
    Purchase: $350 | Classroom rental: $125

    Over the past two centuries, the carnival has been woven into the fabric of the American experience. In recent years, the need for reliable labor, coupled with rising overhead, has led employers to seek solutions beyond U.S. borders. Farewell Ferris Wheel tells the story of the migrant workers struggling to build a better life for their families and the man tasked with bringing them to the U.S. to ensure the carnival industry’s survival.

    Today, 80 percent of all carnival workers are Mexican citizens who legally travel north for the eight-month carnival season using the H-2B visa program. Most of them have been recruited by one man, Jim Judkins, who processes 81 percent of carnival workers’ visas. When the Department of Labor responds to complaints of abusive work conditions at the carnivals by raising wages for H-2B workers, Judkins and the country’s carnival owners lobby Congress to keep wages down.

    In this remarkably sensitive film, directors Jamie Sisley and Miguel "M.i.G." Martinez carefully examine both sides of this timely issue. We follow two workers, Gregorio and Florencio, as they leave their families for the long, laborious carnival season and hear their stories as they assemble, operate and tear down the rides. We also follow Judkins behind closed doors in Washington as he works to keep the industry afloat. Is the H-2B visa a form of modernized slavery as opponents claim? Or is Judkins, as he sees himself, a fatherly figure to these men?

    Farewell Ferris Wheel takes a good hard look at the crossroads between economic need and human rights through one of the most emblematic symbols of Americana.

    Subjects & Collections

    Festivals & Awards

    Official Selection, AFI Docs
    Official Selection, Margaret Mead Film Festival (Museum of Natural History, NYC)
    Official Selection, Virginia Film Festival
    Official Selection, Denver Film Festival
    Official Selection, Napa Valley Film Festival
    Official Selection, San Diego Latino Film Festival
    Official Selection, Salem Film Fest
    Official Selection, Big Sky Documentary Film Festival


    "The film is visually glorious... In this propaganda age, when some media outlets superimpose their own ideologies on stories... this thoughtful film is a welcome antidote." -The Hollywood Reporter