Early in the filming of her feature documentary “Made in L.A.” director Almudena Carracedo visited New York City with Lupe Hernandez, one of the women who appears in her film.
As they toured the historic Lower East Side Tenement and the Museum of Immigration at Ellis Island, Carracedo watched Hernandez’s reaction to the information about immigrants who came to New York 100 years ago.
“She saw how they lived, how hard they worked and how they struggled to assert their rights,” Carracedo wrote. “ ‘It’s just like today!’ was her immediate, gut reaction.”
Carracedo’s Emmy Award-winning film, the first of three movies to be screened in a Diversity Film Festival sponsored by King’s College, tells the story of Hernandez, Maria Pineda and Maura Colorado, three Latina garment workers who toiled for decades in the sweatshops of Los Angeles. It follows their three-year journey to win basic labor protections and shows the sacrifices they made to try to ensure better lives for their children.
“Wouldn’t you leave your children, no matter the danger, no matter the pain, in order to send back enough money to feed them?” Carracedo asks. “Wouldn’t you work day and night, no matter the physical and emotional drain … if you had no other options? And wouldn’t you overcome your fears and stand up one day to demand your rights in the workplace if you were constantly humiliated, underpaid, even spat at? What would you do or not do in order to survive?”
“Made in L.A.” will be screened at 7 p.m. Wednesday in the Burke Auditorium of the William G. McGowan School of Business on North River Street in Wilkes-Barre.
The following week, on Sept. 25, the “No Easy Walk” segment of the award-winning PBS history series “American Experience” will be shown in observation of the 50th anniversary of the 1963 March on Washington and Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.
The final offering in the diversity festival, to be screened Oct. 2, is the dramatic “Glory,” which showcased the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry, the first formal unit of the U.S. Army to be made up entirely of black men. The unit fought in the Civil War, and Abraham Lincoln cited the bravery of the soldiers as the inspiration for thousands of black soldiers who subsequently enlisted.
The 1989 film stars Matthew Broderick, Morgan Freeman and Denzel Washington in an Oscar-winning performance for supporting actor.