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Bread and Roses (2000)

Two Latina sisters work as cleaners in a downtown office building, and fight for the right to unionize.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Pilar Padilla ...
Monica Rivas ...
Frankie Davila ...
Luis (as Frank Davila)
Mayron Payes ...
Maria Orellana ...
Melody Garrett ...
Gigi Jackman ...
Beverly Reynolds ...
Juan (as Eloy Mendez)
Elena Antonenko ...
Olga Gorelik ...


Maya is a quick-witted young woman who comes over the Mexican border without papers and makes her way to the LA home of her older sister Rosa. Rosa gets Maya a job as a janitor: a non-union janitorial service has the contract, the foul-mouthed supervisor can fire workers on a whim, and the service-workers' union has assigned organizer Sam Shapiro to bring its "justice for janitors" campaign to the building. Sam finds Maya a willing listener, she's also attracted to him. Rosa resists, she has an ailing husband to consider. The workers try for public support; management intimidates workers to divide and conquer. Rosa and Maya as well as workers and management may be set to collide. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


The Balance Of Power Is About To Change.



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language and brief nudity | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:




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Release Date:

25 October 2000 (France)  »

Also Known As:

Bread & Roses  »


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

£37,890 (United Kingdom), 4 May 2001, Limited Release

Opening Weekend USA:

$49,662, 13 May 2001, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$525,738, 8 July 2001
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


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Did You Know?


Adrien Brody signed on without a script, because he trusted the director Ken Loach. See more »


Sam: We want bread. But we want roses too.
See more »


Referenced in S.P.U.N.G: Bara man vill så går det (2002) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Of Bread and Roses
22 April 2003 | by See all my reviews

As the daughter of hard-working Mexican immigrant parents and having been raised in one of Los Angeles' poorest barrios, I often saw the story of Rosa and Maya being played out in real life within my family and amongst my neighbors. The authenticity with which this story is told is astounding, showing a deep respect for those who in search of a way to make an honest living, subject themselves to countless humiliations and are relegated to live outside the margins of mainstream America.

Kudos to the writers!! This is the first time I have ever seen an American film in which the dialogue in Spanish was written by someone who actually speaks the language and can grasp the nuances and feeling of the language so perfectly. Richard Hicks is to be commended for casting both Elpidia Carrillo and Pilar Padilla in the roles of Rosa and Maya, respectively. They deliver their dialogue, especially in Spanish, with an emotion and passion that is rarely seen on the Hollywood silver screen. Needless to say, Bread and Roses is now on my list of must-have-films to add to my DVD library.

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