Real-to-Reel: A Documentary Film Series Sponsored by Stuart & Ginger Polisner
THE HAND THAT FEEDS Co-presented by
Thursday, October 1 at 7 pm • Members $10 | Public $15
Shy sandwich-maker Mahoma and his undocumented immigrant coworkers set out to end abusive conditions at a New York restaurant chain. This epic power struggle turns a single city block into a battlefield in America’s new wage wars.
At a popular bakery café, residents of New York’s Upper East Side get bagels and coffee served with a smile 24 hours a day. But behind the scenes, undocumented immigrant workers face sub-legal wages, dangerous machinery, and abusive managers who will fire them for calling in sick.
Mild-mannered sandwich maker Mahoma López has never been interested in politics, but in January 2012, he convinces a small group of his co-workers to fight back. Risking deportation and the loss of their livelihood, the workers team up with a diverse crew of innovative young organizers and take the unusual step of forming their own independent union, launching themselves on a journey that will test the limits of their resolve. In one roller-coaster year, they must overcome a shocking betrayal and a two-month lockout. Lawyers will battle in back rooms, Occupy Wall Street protesters will take over the restaurant, and a picket line will divide the neighborhood. If they can win a contract, it will set a historic precedent for low-wage workers across the country. But whatever happens, Mahoma and his coworkers will never be exploited again. (USA, 2014, 85 min., English and Spanish with English subtitles | Dir. Robin Blotnick & Rachel Lears)