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Life & Arts

SXSW Documentary Explores The Human Cost Of Texas' Economic Growth

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Moyo Oyelola
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A new documentary, "Building the American Dream," looks at the dangers undocumented workers face in the construction industry in Texas. It premiered this week at SXSW.

Government leaders in Texas often tout the state as the best in the country for business, and they have some data to back that up. Texas is home to some of the fastest-growing cities in the U.S. But a new documentary debuting this week at South by Southwest asks viewers to look at the human cost of that growth.

In Building the American Dream, Austin-based filmmaker Chelsea Hernandez looks at how undocumented workers in Texas are exploited. Even though these workers fill roughly half of all construction jobs in Texas, they are often victims of unfair and unsafe working conditions.

Listen to KUT's conversation with Hernandez about her film. She begins with the story of Roendy Granillo, a young construction worker who died in 2015 of a heat stroke. 

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