Documentary Follows Life of NBC Bay Area Reporter Damian Trujillo

"From the Fields: An American Journey" will air on KNTV Sunday morning

By Lori Preuitt
|  Saturday, Oct 6, 2012  |  Updated 3:03 PM PDT
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Documentary Follows Life of KNTV Reporter

Carolyn Brown

Damian Trujillo is a husband and father of three children. He has taught his children the hard work it takes to be a farmworker.

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NBC Bay Area reporter Damian Trujillo is the subject of a new documentary that follows his life as a child farmworker to a reporter for a major market television station.

The film will air Sunday morning on KNTV.

 It is produced by Prof. Carolyn Brown from American University in Washington, D.C.

The short film "From the Fields: An American Journey" follows Damian's life from birth to the present day.

Prof. Brown said the goal of the documentary is to "intervene in the popular stereotypes that depict Latinos as 'illegals,' or 'gang members,' among other negative representations."

The first member of the Trujillo family moved to the United States from Guanajuato, Mexico in 1953 under the Bracero guest worker program.

Damian was born in 1970 and was number six of eight children of Damian and Josefina Trujillo.

"We didn't have enough to give them enough," his mother told the filmmaker.

Both his father and his mother were farmworkers, as were all of the members of the Trujillo family. All of the Trujillo children started working in the fields when they turned 11 years old. Damian said he hated it.

He dreamed of doing anything other than being a farmworker like his parents and older siblings.

That drive helped him become the first member in his family to graduate high school.

His sister Lidia Rodriguez didn't have the option of high school. She was told as a young girl that because she was a girl she wouldn't go to school. Damian's siblings said they saw him as the hope for all of them to break the chain of dropping out of school.  

"When Damian graduated college, he fulfilled my dream," his sister Lidia said.

After high school Damian went to college at San Jose State University.

"To me college was a 'get out of town ticket,'" Damian said.

He graduated college in 1993. He first worked as an assignment editor and a reporter for Telemundo before getting a job at KNTV in 1996.

The rest as they say is history.

"This film goes beyond the hateful rhetoric surrounding the immigration debate and into a deeper exploration of what it means to work, to support family, and to contribute to our American society," Prof. Brown said. 

"You talk about a profile in courage: to see a young man from that background who's family had to work just to struggle to survive. But they instilled in him the value of education; of doing something with your life that is important. Get out there and make a difference as a person of color. For this young man to do something like that is extraordinary," San Jose State University's Bob Rucker said.

From the Fields: An American Journey will air on KNTV Sunday, October 7 at 10:30 a.m.

 

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