Reactions to Made in L.A.
We want to share with you some of the very emotional responses that we have received from the (literally) millions of people who have already watched Made in L.A.. We're also including comments from the organizers of Made in L.A. screening events and from professors and teachers who have used the film. If you want to share your thoughts with us, please contact us!
"Made in LA is a breathtaking and deeply touching depiction of the human cost of our immigration crisis. I'm thrilled my colleagues and I had the opportunity to screen this movie on Capitol Hill. I urge anyone who is uncertain about the need for humane reform to see this movie."
-Congressmember Luis Gutierrez, Chair of the Hispanic Congressional Caucus Immigration Taskforce
"As we watch Made in L.A., I'd like you to take in the journey that these courageous women made staring directly into the face of adversity and remember one word: perseverance... You'll see that Lupe and Maura and Maria could have been any of us if born under different circumstances. And who among us would not fight for a better life, and a safe life, and fair working conditions for their family, our children and our community? These inspiring women found strength in numbers and fought until justice and equality prevailed. It is my hope that we as lawmakers and concerned citizens will take the information from today's film and discussion and apply it to our continuing fight for fair wages, for decent working conditions, and a safe place to work without the threats of abuse regardless of one's immigration status."
-Congressmember Diane Watson
"Immigration - under any guise - is one of the defining issues of our age. With Made in L.A., Almudena Carracedo and Robert Bahar show in vivid detail that, at a fundamental level, this is not simply an issue of competitive intermingling of people, but that it is also an issue of the assault on universal human dignity in the face of enormous global economic pressures. Ultimately though, they show that despite the political or economic vices twisting down upon the planet, the elementary human spirit remains the most powerful force at work."
- New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson
"Those of you who get a chance to watch this film, many of you will have the same experience that I've had countless times. I get asked all the time why does some middle class white guy work on an issue that mainly affects working class Latino immigrants. And I'll tell you why, it's because I've had the opportunity through unusual circumstances to get to know thousands of people and their life stories. And once you know, everything's different. I love the title, "Made in L.A." cause it speaks to that "are they ‘them' or are they ‘us'." And I think this country will be so much better off when we realize that the ‘thems' are ‘us' in everything but paperwork and that when the ‘thems' become ‘us', ‘us' will become much stronger. Our hearts will be more open, our country will be stronger, and we will live true to ideals that we sometimes forget. So I think ‘Made in L.A.' is ... a beautiful film, and I think that it will challenge all of us to continue to stretch so that America becomes what it might yet be rather than what it's recently become. And when we do, I think the ‘stars' of the movie will make all of us feel proud that we were made in America."
-Frank Sharry, Founder and Executive Director of America's Voice
I'm the daughter of immigrants and I have never seen anything like Made in L.A. I was moved to tears... I don't know if you will ever know the impact that this movie has had on me and I'm sure on many others. I want to and WILL do all I can to help immigrants in this country. THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU."
- Evette Gonzalez
"We were so moved by your film. Your women are amazing--courageous, vulnerable, one moment we're laughing, the next we're in tears. What an important story you've told. In these days of immigrant bashing, your voice and those of your hard-working, oppressed garment workers are very much needed. In these discouraging times, your story resonates with 'si se puede'."
- Christie and Dennis
"What a wonderful documentary. Congratulations, you show the power of unity, coming together, and organization."
- Wilson M.
"This film was wonderful. I never enjoyed so much learning about a subject that can often be so dry and statistical. I wept, I was depressed, I was encouraged, I was outraged! But in the end I was left with renewed determination: To continue to never allow anyone to degrade the immigrant population in any way! And to look very closely into who I am buying from, and make sure they are users of fair labor laws! Thank you for making me see, learn, think, and act!!"
- "Kolours" (username)
"hi my name is Rosa i am 19 yrs old and was born in washington state. i grew up a hard life in poverty and watching that clip Made in L.A. touched my heart. it brang back alot of memories. i couldn't help but cry and cry. it breaks my heart inside... i want ppl to appreciate what they have and never take things for granted. life will get better i know."
- Rosa H.
"Last night I saw Made in L.A. in the company of my mom who's 88 years old and we both loved it. A good indication that Made in L.A. is for all ages, because it touches the heart - and all ages have a heart."
- Gerardo E.
"I went to see the film at Smith College... and for me, it was paradigmatic. Made in L.A. was the most beautiful and powerful film I have ever seen. I bought the film and showed it to my family and my friends. They were equally impressed. I really want to thank Almudena Carracedo and Robert
Bahar for creating this work of art about a necessary issue. You have really changed the world by doing so."
- Sarah W.
"Terrific!! Real, Authentic, Inspiring... I think it really doesn't matter where we're from, I think what really matters is how we make our heart and brain work..."
- "FtPe*" (username)
"I could not take my eyes off the screen as I felt I was fighting alongside the women of the story... 'Congrats!' on having the courage to stand up for your rights!"
"It was extremely moving when I saw the film with my mother at home and I have let several friends of mine borrow the movie so that they can see it... I have the poster in my room and I constantly look at that poster as a form of inspiration and strength whenever I have any challenges that I fear I cannot overcome."
"Thank you for making a difference."
"Made in L.A. touched my heart. I can relate to the social and economical injustices here in the U.S.,South Africa, and Zimbabwe. My mother was a garment worker and I feel for the men and women who are struggling to support their families. In my English class, we are studying Jefferson,Thoreau, and Martin Luther King. Great men who believed there can be change. The rights of all men to be treated fair and just is worth fighting for. Thank you for encoragement and inspiration to reach others."
"It was amazing.... inspiring, heartbreaking, enlightening..."
"Thank you all for telling the story of so many immigrants who come with the dream to succeed. As a psychologist working in the community, this documentary is validating of the trials that many Latinos face as they enter the workforce of a new country while they try to raise a family. It truly reverberates the importance of justice and equality for all."
-Maria Avila, Psychologist
"I laughed, I cried, it changed my life -- seriously! Congratulations on a beautiful, powerful picture."
"We've all watched well-meaning docs that drone on until our butts ache. But yours worked! Yea! Casting. Story. Conflict. Meaning. Laughter. Tears. More meaning. You did it."
"I went through so many emotions while watching this documentary. It was very overwhelming. It's now the day after for me and I'm still tearing up... I am a divorced woman raising my two children alone. I am first generation born in America. After watching this wonderful film, I am going to start going to different after school programs to teach the children the full knowledge of immigration. I may not be able to change the whole country, but I at least can attempt to change the ignorance."
"What an amazing, beautiful, moving creation. Thank you, thank you, thank you so much."
"I had the opportunity to see the screening with my mother and younger sister... and the experience was phenomenal. The tears in my mother's and sister's eyes as they related to the struggle that the women overcame in the film is worth more than words can say. But my tears were mostly motivated by the knowledge that I was sitting next to someone who had survived and overcame similar struggles - a single immigrant mother who, in much the same manner as the women in the film, did whatever it took to provide for her family - my mother."
"Our school is so conservative... I worked with two professors to promote the event and... they have told me how students who have never considered the human side of immigration have been pushed to think about it. We also did a panel on immigration on which several local immigrants spoke about their experiences and that was really successful! Through three stories, you told so many more. I have never sat with an audience as they watched a film and seen their attitudes change so dramatically."
- Hannah Carswell, Student Organizer, Berry College, Rome, Georgia
"I was astonished by the breadth of people reached by the event and the emotional pull of the film. The energy in the room was tremendous... This film generated immense feeling among my students about the character of globalization in the everyday lives of women workers. It also overturned assumptions about exploitative labor practices being 'over there' rather than right down the street. Most importantly, [it] allowed them to make connections between their own outrage and concrete actions they could take to join the struggle for social justice."
- Elizabeth Armstrong, Program for the Study of Women and Gender, Smith College
"We were using the screening with the filmmakers in attendance as a recruitment event to attract members to our new Peninsula Chapter. Our goal was 50-75 attendees. We had over 100 and have welcomed approximately another dozen members to the Chapter. Exceeded our goals!"
- Sara Bolder, Progressive Jewish Alliance
Our goals [with the Made in L.A. tour in the Pacific Nirthwest] were to raise the profile of Sweat-Free campaigns working on campus and in the community by highlighting sweatshops in the US, and engage people to become part of these campaigns. The film was a call to action and Robert and Almudena made every effort to link the film with local initiatives. By the end 30 people had signed postcards indicating that they were interested in becoming involved with SweatFree Campaign. As a result of the tour, there will be more concerted efforts with sweat-free groups on UW campus, labor academics and community groups. SweatFree NW, with the success of the Made in LA Tour, is talking about organizing a worker's tour at the beginning of next year with SweatFree Communities!
- Kristin Beifus, SweatFree Washington
"I knew that the film was poignant and moving, but I had not expected students and viewers to be as emotional and engaged as they were. There is only so much lectures and conventional forms of education can do to appeal to students - I think it really helped to awaken students to the struggles and problems that exist only a few blocks from campus. Many were inspired to find ways in which they could get involved in political activism, whether that is labor, gender, or immigrant organizing."
- Teresa Cheng, Political Student Assembly, United Students Against Sweatshops, University of Southern California|
"We were hoping to have a minimum of 80 people. We far surpassed that by a total around 150. ... The screening surpassed our expectations. The audience really enjoyed the screening and meeting the filmmakers! It was considered a success by all. The Q & A was kept alive by an engaged audience and by the good answers and explanations by Robert and Almudena ...The International Latino Film Society exists in order to be able to screen films like Made in LA., which is a beautifully crafted documentary, an inspiring tale and a call to social action."
-Charlotte von Hemert, International Latino Film Society, San Francisco
"I participated together with members of Unidad Latina en Accion in the panel at Yale University in New Have, CT. Made in L.A. has really produced a great impact in our communities. Our immigrant community in the US feels identified with the stories shown in this film, specially because of the exploitation and the abuse of its labor rights. This film has helped many organizations working for labor rights and immigrants as educational material to show the reality that our immigrant communities are going through, and to show the lack of interest on the side of government authorities to solve this problem. We have needed a film like this for a very long time, so we can let the world know about the abuses and the lack of humanity in our societies. And also to encourage our working communities to organize to defend and make their labor rights prevail."
Juan Granados, Unidad Latina en Accion
"The event proceeded better than I could have imagined. The event attracted a diverse crowd. The auditorium was packed and a lot of interest developed around the screening, attracting students, professors and many organizations in the community. It seemed that once people and organizations learned about the film and the event, they quickly wanted to help or attend. Having a lot of organizations involved, on and off campus, was a large success."
- Devin Yoshikawa, Student, California State University Sacramento
"Awesome!!! People were blown away by the film. People were moved by the personal aspect of the story, and many were moved to action and awareness of sweatshops (especially in our "backyard"). The event went above and beyond my expectations."
- Jackie Lindeman, USC Social Work Alumni Association
"My expectations were surpassed, especially with the informal nature of the exchange of the Q & A and other post-event activities; it enabled the participants to talk about a wide range of topics... All the participants were excited about the film and validated in their struggles (and their family histories). As a human rights center, this helped us bring home some of the international issues we deal with. It also helped us get better known in campus."
- Almerindo Ojeda, Director, Center for the Study of Human Rights in the Americas, University of California, Davis.
"The Midwest Coalition for Human Rights was able to hold movie screenings in three states - Iowa, Nebraska, and Minnesota - where MCHR has member organizations working on our Workers' Rights Project. Our objective was to promote this remarkable film, not just for its cinematic brilliance, but for its effective communication of issues that are of great concern in today's political and economic climate. These community screenings provided us with a great opportunity to vocalize our own concerns on labor practices and immigrant rights in the U.S... The audience was very captivated by the film, and students became very interested in learning more about our workers' rights and immigration projects."
- Midwest Coalition for Human Rights
"Made in L.A. is a gem. It accurately portrays the lives and struggles of garment workers, and honors their development as leaders against sweatshop exploitation in a sensitive and poignant way."
- Katie Quan, UC Berkeley Labor Center
"Made in L.A. is a testament to the enduring spirit of recent immigrants in the U.S. and the possibility of interracial solidarity. It will "forever" transform the way you shop and the way we teach. It is an essential film for educators interested in sharing with their students the struggle of immigrant workers in a globalized garment industry. The film provides a rare window into the evolution of a labor movement among women of color- immigrant and children of immigrants, Latinas and Asian American women-in the pursuit of social justice. Better than any film I have seen, Made in L.A. depicts the real stories of women struggling for--and achieving--social justice for immigrant workers in the U.S. Now, we educators have a documentary film to show our students alongside Bread and Roses and Real Women Have Curves. A triumph."
-Matthew Garcia, Professor, American Civilization, Ethnic Study, and History, Brown University
"Made in L.A. is a powerful documentary that reveals the shameful truth that sweatshops are thriving in our City of Angels. At the same time, this is an inspiring story of courage about immigrant women garment workers struggling for justice against overwhelming odds. For anyone who wants to understand the complex intersection of race, class, gender, immigration, globalization, and movement building, Made in L.A. is an excellent educational tool."
- Kent Wong, UCLA Labor Center
"Made in L.A. is a powerful teaching resource. Analyzing the film allowed my students to connect with the real characters in meaningful ways and gave them a personal connection to the film. Some even cried during and after the screening because of the sincere emotions... in the film. Conversely, students also shared their feelings of hope in global and local change after the film. Made in L.A. greatly enhanced our ability to discuss issues like globalization, immigration, as well as workers and consumers' rights. I would highly recommend it in any classroom."
- Nikhil Laud, Los Angeles High School
"Told through the powerful stories of three immigrant women, Made in L.A. shows us how activists are made in struggle through working together to build a more just world. This powerful film brings alive the joy as well as the tribulations of the women who make our clothes in Los Angeles sweatshops, who refused to give up their fight against exploitation. Inspirational, educational, a stunning achievement."
- Eileen Boris, Hull Professor and Chair, Women's Studies Program, University of California, Santa Barbara
"As a teacher of multi-cultural Women's Studies at a small state regional comprehensive university where many of my students are first time college goers, I found that "Made in L.A." had a significant impact on the students who saw the film. Their comments in class showed how students, both "traditional" and "non-traditional age," whether white, African-American, or Chicano/a can get past all the bombast and misinformation about immigrants and immigration and come to understand the issues through the witness of individual people's lives. This was a very moving film, one that brought them a new awareness or, as in the case of one first year student whose parents were originally Mexican and had shortened educations - validation of what they already knew about the struggles of Latinas and Latinos to get a good education, take part in the civil life of their adopted country, be respected as workers and contributors to that society, and to make a decent life for themselves and their families. "Made in L.A." is an excellent film - one made with intelligence and heart - that reaches out to a wide variety of students and I strongly recommend that teachers, whether K-12 or college, make it an important part of their curriculum."
Barbara Scott Winkler, Women's Studies, Southern Oregon University
"Made in L.A. is one of the most powerful documentaries that I have seen in awhile. I will definitely be using this film in my courses. By listening to the real-life stories of immigrant women workers as they struggle for their rights and for their dignity, students are guided to put themselves in someone else's shoes. Empathy is one of the most important critical thinking skills for students to develop, and it opens the door to helping them think more broadly about issues such as the intersections of gender, globalization, immigration, exploitation, and resistance. Hopefully, they will also be inspired to reflect on the power that they have to make change in their communities and beyond. In the end, Made in L.A. will bring a tear to your eye, a smile to your face, and the stories of these women will stay with you for a long time."
Rebecca Martinez, Women and Gender Studies, University of Missouri
"What's fascinating is that Made in L.A. doesn't only show the depth to which these individuals have to sink to keep their jobs, but in fine cinéma verité style invites viewers into their lives, witnessing their shame at work and pride in their picket line... Made in L.A. offers a vital look at the world of poor laborers, along the way illuminating some of the myriad complexities of the immigration issue. Highly recommended."
-A. Jacobson, "Video Librarian", the video review magazine for libraries.