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
Elpidia Carrillo has a scene in this film equal to the "...I'm the best possible Arnold Burns" self-justification speech in A THOUSAND CLOWNS. It's so real and raw it's almost hard to watch. I saw this film at the Santa Barbara Film Festival, and it so beautifully delivers the drama and the realities of the Justice for Janitors campaign. Ken Loach does it again...with an American accent (ALL the Americas). Adrien Brody is Ron Leibman's NORMA RAE organizer if he were younger and less seasoned, but just as much the true believer. Pilar Padilla's Maya is all passion and youth and fun-loving troublemaker. The documentary style that Ken Loach uses is perfect for the subject.
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