Made in L.A. ~ May Day Campaign

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When I first saw Made in L.A. last year after it won an Emmy, it hit a soft spot in me to say the least. When my father first came to this country way back in the ’90s to pave the way for the rest of the family to make it over, he worked in one of those garment factories. I remember those days because of where we lived, how we lived and my father telling us later on, in his drunken ramblings, how much he hated that work when he was doing it. Yet, he did it and put up with it because that was what he needed to do in order to get the job done, so to speak.


The movie pretty much chronicles three woman over three years as they struggle to balance their lives and continue the fight for their rights in the garment factories. It’s powerful what they all go through, the lives they live, families they support. I get teary eyed whenever they would focus on the families because they reminded me so much of my own family. The two moms raising their kids and the hopes they have for them mirrors the same ambitions my parents have for me.
This really is an amazing documentary that opens more windows and shows the struggles undocumented immigrants face and can over come when they know they have rights, unite and fight the powers that be.
With May Day coming up around the corner, the movies directors are
launching a campaign to raise awareness about the on-going immigration debate, specially since Obama and others are starting to discuss it more openly. The following is a statement from one of the documentaries directors/producers, Almudena Carracedo,
In honor of May Day, we have just launched a nationwide screening campaign from April 15th to May 31st and beyond. We’re inviting student groups, grassroots organization, congregations and individuals from all over the country to join our efforts to use the film as a catalyst for dialogue, debate and, ultimately, a change towards humane labor and immigration reform. You can find details  at our online May Day Campaign page.

8 thoughts on “Made in L.A. ~ May Day Campaign

  1. I wrote about this movie a while back when it was screening in San Pedro at the Warner Grand. It was very sad made me tear up a little. I have the DVD as well they gave them out after the movie.

  2. i remember my sister and i were just chimuelas when we’d accompanied my mom to “the office.” she worked off 8th and broadway for some korean lady. each time we went, we’d hop into the freight elevator and watch the operator seal the cage doors and pull the lever to take us up. “miss,” she called the korean lady, let my mom take fabric home to sew while she watched us play.

    i’d have to say one of my fondest memories was looking out the windowless window down into all the commotion downtown. the giant rtd bus numbers, the traffic, the smog. it was amazing… pulling on the plastic rolls used for the garments. watching men push buttons that made steam rise. maybe it wasn’t running through daisies, but it sure was fun.

  3. Hey There,

    I’m really looking forward to seeing the movie.

    But, one thing: the May Day Campaign link is busted.

  4. Have any of you seen “Bread and Roses”? Really good movie about janitors in LA, many of them Mexican immigrants, unionizing. Only thing that sucks about it is that George Lopez plays the asshole union buster. First time I ever saw him on t.v. as a character I didn’t like. He did it well, too. Good actor. Never even knew he’d acted before his sitcom. Anyhow, in case anyone hasn’t heard of Bread and Roses, it’s worth a look. I happened to catch it on HBO a few months back. Not sure if it’s available on DVD, or to rent.

    Thank you for the information on Made in LA, El Random Hero. Is it available for sale on DVD? Amazon doesn’t have it. I’ll be in LA in two weeks. Do you know of any screenings?

  5. I think George Lopez was the best part of Bread and Roses, he played a good jerk and that performance really bumped him up a notch in my book (which i really hard as “why you crying” is the pinacle of comedy in my book). Otherwise, besides a few moments that really portray Latino lives, I thought the movie was bit too cheesy. What killed it for me was the Latino heroine falling for the whiteboy activist (adrian brody, double kill, because us brown men are only for intimidation or taboo, not developing strong bonds of love) who is the only one who “really understands her”. Otherwise I liked the movie.

    When my suegra came here from vietnam in the late 70s she began working as a seamstress in a DTLA sowing factory. She initially thought Spanish was english because that’s what everyone spoke (they also lived in pico union) anbd they are phonetically similar, especially to someone from Vietnam. Makes me love LA.

  6. Art, anything else unrealistic, aside from the romantic sub plot? The idea of the “cheesy” romance could have been to get middle to upper class audiences to show more concern to the plight of undocumented immigrants. Let’s not forget how it ends…

    Anyhow, I definitely agree with you on George Lopez. As I said above, I didn’t like the guy he was playing. Lopez’s acting was solid. It’s too bad he doesn’t take more serious roles.

    Re: Made In LA, does anyone know of any screenings in the LA area the first week of May?

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