Synopsis by Jonathan Crow
Leftist filmmaker Ken Loach directs this grim drama about the plight of seemingly invisible office cleaners in contemporary L.A. who often earn as little as $6 a day without benefits. The film opens as Maya (Pilar Padilla), a young Mexican lass, is reuniting with her older sister Rosa (Elpidia Carrilio) in L.A. after a harrowing cross-border journey. Rosa sets her sister up first with a job as a barmaid, which Maya soon quits after getting repeatedly groped -- and then as a janitor. When her boss demands one month's salary as "commission," Maya happens upon Sam Shapiro (Adrien Brody), a muckraking lawyer and union agitator. This film, which was screened in competition at the 2000 Cannes Film Festival, is remarkable for its prescience -- it was shown a month after a massive janitor's strike ground L.A.'s business community to a halt.
border-guard, cleaning-woman, immigration, immigration-official, labor [work], left-wing