The Land of Orange Groves & Jails

The Land of Orange Groves & Jails


History, Human Rights, Personal Doc, Social Issues, and Politics

In The Land of Orange Groves & Jails my reluctant great-aunt Yetta finally tells me her tale of teenage activism amidst the free speech and labor battles of 1920s Los Angeles. Her arrest for flying a red flag over a summer camp resulted in the US Supreme Court’s first victory for free speech (Stromberg v California) -laying important groundwork for our right to protest and dissent.

This is a “David and Goliath” story of young people from immigrant families who tested the limits of Constitutional protection and helped guarantee one of America’s most treasured freedoms. But past mixes with present: as I learn more about my family’s radical history I have to confront a multi-generational legacy of secrecy and fear. In the beginning Aunt Yetta thinks what’s going on now politically is more important than the past – but by the film's end Yetta and I see how her story set a powerful precedent for current struggles. The title is taken from a story Upton Sinclair wrote about Yetta’s trial.

in post-production


Production Details

Prod. Co.
Sycamore City
United States
Los Angeles, San Bernardino, Washington DC, New York

Distribution Details



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