Made in L.A. is an Emmy award-winning feature film that follows the story of three Latina immigrants working in a LA-based sweatshop that manufactures Forever 21 clothing. The film documents the three-year legal battle that I discussed earlier in this blog. It follows the public protests and struggles of these three women to gain support for their cause and be given the rights that they are entitled to.
According to the filmmakers, Made in L.A. is a story about immigration, the power of unity, and the courage it takes to find your voice:
Lupe Hernandez, a five-foot tall dynamo who learned survival skills at an early age, has been working in Los Angeles garment factories for over 15 years since she left Mexico City at age 17. Maura Colorado left her three children in the care of relatives in El Salvador while she sought work in L.A. to support them. She found that the low-paid work came with a high price – wretched conditions in the factories and an “undocumented” status that deprived her of seeing her children for over eighteen years. María Pineda came to Southern California from Mexico in hopes of a better life at 18, with an equally young husband. Twenty three years later, substandard working conditions, a meager salary and domestic abuse have left her struggling for her children’s future and for her own human dignity.
About the filming of the documentary:
The workers’ struggle for basic economic justice and personal dignity yields hope and growth, but is also full of disappointments and dangers. Lupe reflects on her journey:
The more I learn, the lonelier I feel. Ignorance somehow protects you. But then I say, I’ve come this far, and nothing can take that away from me.
An interview with the filmmakers: