A Day Without a Mexican

What if California's Latino population suddenly disappeared? That neat premise drove a 28-minute mockumentary by Sergio Arau, but this feature-length version feels padded and uneven. Arau follows a few main characters—a TV reporter, a racist state senator, an Anglo woman whose Latino husband has vanished—and treats the viewer to some amazing statistics that show Latinos' profound impact on the economy and everyday life. But he tends to club the viewer when a tap would do, and after about an hour his polemics and awkward attempts at drama begin to drag this down. R, 100 min.

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