Director: Ken Loach
"The locale may have changed but the commitment to challenging social drama remains unwavering in Ken Loach's (My Name is Joe, MIFF 1999) first North American venture. Set in Los Angeles - and inspired by the continuing 'Justice For Janitors' union struggles - the latest collaboration between Loach and screenwriter Paul Laverty strikes at the very heart of American Dream.
"Fiery Maya arrives in Los Angeles as an illegal Mexican immigrant. Her sister, Rosa, secures her a job as cleaner in one of the city's numerous high-rise office blocks. The hours are long, the pay is paltry and the conditions are intolerable, but most workers are either too frightened or too desperate to raise a voice in protest. Unorthodox union activist Sam (Adrian Brody) is the one who convinces Maya and her colleagues to organise and fight for their rights with a campaign of direct action. Loach and Laverty are content to let the truth of the matter speak for itself and there are a number of stirring moments as workers take their case to the streets of Los Angeles. The result is an absorbing and thought-provoking dramatisation of the eternal fight to overcome injustice." - Screen International