Bread and Roses | Chicago Reader

Bread and Roses

Who wants to think about Mexican janitors—illegal aliens, working in the buildings where movie stars do business with their agents—who decide to unionize to end their exploitation? Ken Loach, an unreconciled, unreconstructed Marxist, that's who. And thanks to this stirring piece of agitprop, I do too. Paul Laverty's screenplay is regrettably reluctant to offer certain details, such as management's view of the labor dispute's resolution. But the formulaic aspects of the story are transcended by the power and passion of what's being said. There's an explosive scene between the heroine (Pilar Padilla) and her sister that had me in tears, in part because it also made me think—as did the scene of the heroine's arrest. With Adrien Brody. In English and subtitled Spanish. 106 min.

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