WEST LONG BRANCH, NJ – Filmmaker Rachel Lears brings her documentary The Hand That Feeds; a documentary about a group of New York City immigrant restaurant workers who stand up for their rights despite the threat of job loss and deportationto Monmouth University’s Wilson Auditorium on Tuesday, September 9at 7:30 p.m. The filmscreening is free and open to the public. There will be a Q&A with Lears immediately following the screening.
Co-directed by Lears and Robin Blotnick,The Hand That Feedsfollowsshy sandwich-maker Mahoma López on a journey to end abusive conditions at a popular New York restaurant chain. The epic power struggle that ensues turns a single city block into a battlefield in America’s new wage wars. At the 63rd Street Hot and Crusty cafe, 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 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 livelihood, the workers team up with a diverse crew of innovative young organizers and take the unusual step of forming an independent union, launching themselves on a journey that will test the limits of their resolve.
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Lear’s award-winning first feature documentary Birds of Passage was supported by Fulbright and the National Film Institute of Uruguay, had two community screening tours in Uruguay sponsored by the Ministry of Education and Culture, and was broadcast nationally throughout Latin America. Learwas a 2013 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow, and also holds a PhD in Cultural Anthropology from New York University. Blotnicks’s first documentary, Chocolate Country, received a Grand Jury Prize at the Seattle International Film Festival, was a winner in Link TV’s ViewChange competition, and is used as a teaching tool by educators and Fair Trade advocates around the world. Blotnick is also a 2013 Sundance Creative Producing Fellow.
The event is sponsored by Monmouth University’s Department of Communication and the Center for the Arts, and part of the “On Screen: In Person” film series, which brings six films and filmmakers to Monmouth University. “On Screen: In Person” is made possible by the Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation through the generous support of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Regional Touring Program.
Event: The Hand That Feeds with post-screening Q&A with the filmmaker
Date: Tuesday, September 9, 2014
Time: 7:30 p.m.
Where: Wilson Auditorium, Monmouth University, 400 Cedar Ave, West Long Branch, NJ
Sponsored By: Monmouth University’s Center for the Arts
Cost: Free and Open to the Public
Box Office: www.monmouth.edu/arts or call 732-263-6889
Contact: Andrew Demirjian, Specialist Professor, Department of Communication at 732.263.5751