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aluCine Latin Film + Media Arts Festival » THE HAND THAT FEEDS

Saturday April 4th, 9:30pm – 10:45pm
Jackman Hall, Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO)
317 Dundas St. West, Toronto, Ontario
Q & A to follow ~ Canada Premiere
$10 General | $8 Students and Seniors

The abundance of temporary workers used for cheap labour with human and labour rights violations is of local and international concern. The reality is that imperialist governments and economies need immigration more than immigrants need the country. However, the system has created a perception that immigrants are weak outsiders and are here with the belief that their stay is based on their service to the “real citizens” of the country. This program reflects on these issues and portrays how it is possible to change this dynamic/game.

Films in this program:


The Hand That Feeds
Rachel Lears and Robin Blotnick
USA / Documentary / 2014 / 88′ / Canadian Premiere!

At a popular deli on New York’s Upper East Side, customers get bagels and coffee served with a smile 24 hours a day. But behind the scenes, undocumented immigrant workers face sub-legal wages, dangerous machinery, and abusive managers.

Mild-mannered sandwich maker Mahoma López has never been interested in politics, but in January 2012 he convinces a small group of his co-workers to fight back. Risking deportation and the loss of livelihood, the workers team up with a diverse crew of innovative young organizers and take the unusual step of forming an independent union, launching themselves on a journey that will test the limits of their resolve.

In one rollercoaster year they must overcome a shocking betrayal and a two-month lockout. Lawyers will battle in backroom negotiations, Occupy Wall Street protesters will take over the restaurant, and a picket line will divide the neighbourhood. If they can win a contract, it will set a historic precedent for low-wage workers across the country. But whatever happens, Mahoma and his compañeros won’t be exploited again.

Best of Fest, AFI Docs Festival, Washington, D.C., 2014; Audience Award, Best Feature, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Durham, N.C., 2014; Jury Prize, Best Documentary Feature, Sidewalk Film Festival, Birmingham, Al., 2014; International Jury Prize, Human Rights Film Festival, Glasgow, 2014

“We see, in modern-day New York City with modern-day immigrants, glimpses of what happened when new workers from a different country in a different century came to America and struggled to eke out the American Dream. “The Hand That Feeds” is a documentary that Americans need to see.” Dawn Baumgartner Vaughan: The Herald-Sun

“The employees are funny, smart, and eloquent, committed to their jobs and to providing for their families. They’re believers in the great American possibility that their struggle may lead to a better future. No matter where your own views fall, the film’s personalization of the low-wage workers that sustain much of our economy is a necessary addition to the dialogue surrounding the issue of undocumented immigrants.” Marisa M. Kashino: Washingtonian

“The film provides a vivid reminder that even undocumented workers deserve fair compensation from their employers.” Frank Scheck: The Hollywood Reporter

La Silla/Electric Chair
David Muñoz Velasco
Mexico / Fiction / 2014 / 2’20
A man is executed on the electric chair, however, the reasons behind the execution are far more terrifying than the act itself.

Co-Presented by Hot Docs Canadian international Documentary Festival
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