[fla-left] [culture] For Loach, Politics, Romance Make Good Bedfellows (fwd)

Michael Hoover hoov at SPAMfreenet.tlh.fl.us
Sun May 14 06:01:39 MDT 2000

forwarded by Michael Hoover

> Saturday May 13 2:05 PM ET
> For Loach, Politics, Romance Make Good Bedfellows
> By Lee Yanowitch
> CANNES, France (Reuters) - Ken Loach is one of the rare Western directors
> still making political films,but the characters that sprinkle his works are
> hardly mere mouthpieces for his left-wing views.
> In ``Bread and Roses,'' the British director couples social criticism with
> romance as Maya, a young Mexican immigrant working as a janitor, falls in
> love with Sam, a passionate activist who tries to unionize the office
> building she cleans.
> ``Every film is political. The way people relate to the social context
> around them is very important,'' Loach told Reuters in an interview at this
> year's Cannes Film Festival.
> ``In most films, the main characters have no visible means of support. They
> have beautiful clothes and beautiful houses, but they never seem to work
> for their money.''
> Loach is the noted director of ``Land and Freedom'' -- a Spanish Civil War
> film, ``Raining Stones'' and ``Carla's Song.''
> ``Labeling these films as political tends to put people off. It's just
> important to tell a story that you care about.''
> In competition for the Golden Palm prize, to be awarded at the end of the
> Cannes festival on May 21, ``Bread and Roses'' is the first film Loach has
> shot in United States after works set in Hispanic countries -- Spain,
> Guatemala and Nicaragua.
> It tells the story of Maya (Pilar Padilla), who on arriving in Los Angeles
> from Mexico gets a night job as a cleaner and discovers the terrible
> working conditions imposed on illegal immigrants -- paltry wages, no health
> care and abusive bosses.
> In a wrenching, beautifully acted scene, Rosa (Elpidia Carillo), the sister
> who opposes the union action, reveals that she has had to prostitute
> herself to feed the family. The actress who played Maya did not know what
> Rosa was going to tell her, a method that made the scene all the more real.
> ``We thought it would be nice to tell the story of the immigrants because
> white Americans have told their own story over and over again,'' Loach said.
> Many of the actors, particularly Maya's fellow workers, were not
> professional performers, but actually worked as janitors in real life.
> ``You see it in their hands, in their faces, that they've really done the
> work. We only used people in the film whom we could believe,'' said Loach.
> It came as no surprise when Loach, a leftist, blasted the current U.S.
> presidential campaign.
> In Cannes two years ago, he launched into a tirade against British Prime
> Minister Tony Blair.
> ``In England we have the same system as in the United States -- two
> political parties, both supporting the same side. Whichever side you vote
> for, the bosses always win,'' Loach said derisively. ``It's a choice
> between the right and the far right.''

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