Monday, October 27, 2008

Made in L.A.

Filmmaker Almudena Carracedo has won an Emmy for Made in L.A., a documentary that shadows three women fighting for better working conditions in Los Angeles sweatshops.


Tenement Talks hosted Almudena earlier this year for a screening of the film, which mirrors themes in the Museum’s Piecing It Together tour. Not only does this documentary open your eyes to the workplace discrimination taking place in our own country, Made in L.A. also provides a unique window into the lives of three very different women, who ultimately take very different paths.


We can’t help but note that the Tenement Museum also has a role in the film; as Almudena writes on the Latina Lista blog:

The United States is a country that’s been, in part, built by waves of immigrants, and yet — and this continues to amaze me — immigrants remain the focus of hatred and resentment here, too. There’s a scene in Made in L.A. where Lupe, one of the main characters and an immigrant from Mexico City, visits the Lower East Side Tenement Museum and Ellis Island, the gateway for millions of immigrants coming to the U.S. in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Lupe sees pictures of the immigrants who came to New York more than 100 years ago and sees how they lived, how hard they worked, and how they fought for their rights. In a moment of epiphany, both saddened and empowered, she concludes “It’s just like today!” That was a revelatory moment for me as well. She is so right, and it brings me great sadness that so many people have yet to connect these most recent waves of immigration to the greater U.S. narrative: it’s just the same struggle, the same hopes and dreams for a better life, both for themselves and for their children.

Both Lupe and Almudena understood the fundamental idea behind the Tenement Museum, and we’re so happy to be part of this fantastic film! Read the rest of Almudena’s post. Note that she’s looking to host more screenings in the future, so contact her if you have an interest.

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