Reviews written by registered user
|2 reviews in total|
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
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.
In contrast to the previous user review which categorized this film as
"lifetime-esque" and creepy, I found the film to be important, from a
sociological perspective. I must admit that Farrah Fawcett has never been
among my favorite actresses, but I do commend her decision to make a film
that has been so important to so many women.
The value of this film does not rest in the actors' ability to portray their roles convincingly, but rather in the fact that it was made at a time (1984) when issues such as spousal abuse, spousal rape, and a lack of social systems of support were barely being recognized as legitimate issues that warranted legislation to help protect families in the throes of domestic violence.
It is an important film in that it was an indictment of the patriarchal ideology that demanded (and in some ways still does) that a woman's place was in the home with her children, dependent upon her husband, and submissive to his needs no matter what the circumstances. This is evidenced in the policies employed by social institutions such as the Social Services Department, the police department, and even hospitals that failed to protect and help Francine Hughes.
The Francine Hughes case is important because it validated a woman's right to be safe from harm at the hands of her spouse and set a precedence for every woman who found herself becoming a victim of domestic violence. This case created an awareness that inspired legislation and institutional policies that help victims of domestic violence find the help they need to escape the cycle of violence. Because of this case, young women today are more aware of patterns of behavior that may help predict whether a boyfriend is likely to batter or not. It should not, however, be interpreted as giving license for murder to anyone who is a victim of domestic violence.