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A Day Without a Mexican (1998)

| Short
News reports, with dramatizations within the faux documentary footage, explain that people across California have awakened to a state from which the Mexicans have disappeared: husbands, ... See full summary »




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Dawn Westlake ...
Michael White ...
Tina S. Nieto ...
Musician's Wife
Louis Hock ...
Produce Grower
Peter Rawley ...
Irate Attorney
Gabriela Retes ...
School Teacher
John Fuller ...
Delivery Man (as Jonathan Fuller)
Communications Expert
Border Report (voice)
Gina Bradley ...
Sacramento Report
Ted Perkins ...
Temporary Speaker
Politician's Wife
Raul A. Hinojosa ...
UCLA Professor
Melissa Justin ...
Ignorant Woman


News reports, with dramatizations within the faux documentary footage, explain that people across California have awakened to a state from which the Mexicans have disappeared: husbands, maids, business owners, foremen and laborers, newscasters, child care providers, teachers, and the Speaker of the State Assembly are missing. Parents are desperate, border guards fear loss of their jobs, politicians quack "opportunity" and "challenge" in this time of crisis, newscasters call for prayers. A professor of public policy explains that the social cost of immigrants pales next to their economic contributions, and he misses his best friend. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

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Remade as A Day Without a Mexican (2004) See more »

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They should have left it short subject.
5 April 2005 | by (Luoyang, China) – See all my reviews

I watched the original short film that was included on the Day Without A Mexican DVD, because I figured that for them to have made such a bad film, they must have somehow made it in a shorter version and had it not be as stupid as the full length film was, but I was wrong. Instead, you get the same reduction of even the most bigoted Americans to cartoonish stereotypes and caricatures. In fact, here they have to be even more abrupt in their portrayal of mind-boggling ignorance because they only have 30 minutes to tell the whole story. In one scene, some white woman meekly looks at her interviewer and says something like, "All people who speak Spanish are Mexican, right? Right?"


The sad thing is that I realize that such unfiltered stupidity does, in fact, exist in America, but it is in such small numbers that normal people, regular, thinking Americans, already know how backwards these people are, and they don't need a film like this to come along and hit them over the head with it.

My biggest problem is that I agree completely with the unbalanced nature of American society, in that the people who work the hardest and support our economy the most are treated almost as subhumans, which is why I wish this film wouldn't have chosen something so unbelievably inept as inexplicable, mass disappearance in order to show what it might be like if all of our migrant workers disappeared. There are very real and very serious ways that this could have been done, and the resulting film might very well have been something that could have been taken seriously.

Then again, this was done as something of a comedy, which in itself belittles the message that the film is trying to get across. It's almost like they purposely wanted you to walk away from the film thinking they were joking all along.

I could accept something like A Day Without A Mexican if it was made as a student film or something, more an exercise in film-making with a tiny bit of social commentary thrown in for good measure, but to have been made as a short film and THEN a feature film? Ouch.

It reminds me of an equally idiotic mockumentary called The September Tapes, which commits a far greater crime by pretending to be about a guy who lost a brother or something in the war in Afghanistan, and he blows off all the danger and goes to Afghanistan himself to find him. It's not long before you realize that this moron is some white guy pretending to have lost a family member in a war and then pretending to go to that country and pretending to be in real danger and then laughing all the way to the bank. And this in the middle of that war. They should slap a helmet on him, give him a rifle, and send him to Afghanistan for real.

But in the case of A Day Without A Mexican, I'd settle for just not letting them make any more movies.

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