Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Bread and Roses

Magazine article Sojourners Magazine

Bread and Roses

Article excerpt

Bread and Roses, directed by Ken Loach. Lion's Gate Films.

Bread and Roses, the latest from British director Ken Loach, portrays with incredible precision the reality of the modern immigrant experience in industrialized nations. The film, which hit theatres in June, tells the story of Maya, a determined young Mexican woman who sneaks across the California border with the help of a coyote smuggler, a sexual predator whose exploitation she barely escapes. Once in California, she reunites with her older sister and lands a job as a janitor at an office building in Los Angeles. There, she develops a strong camaraderie with other illegal immigrants and working poor.

Maya encounters Sam, a university educated, cocky white activist with a heart for social justice. Though he's considered a troublemaker to the corporate elite, his socioeconomic position allows him the privilege of stirring things up; he spends his time sneaking around the building, organizing a labor union through the group Justice for Janitors. It's not easy; most of the poor immigrants fear being blacklisted if they organize. Yet the pent-up anger of Sam's ragtag army of janitors--with Maya serving as a liaison between him and the workers--fuels their cause. …

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