Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Private Screening of "A Day Without A Mexican" for Arnold?

by Gregg Chadwick

California's actor governor knows all about film screenings. After his latest off the cuff and out of control quip:

"Close the borders. Close the borders in California, and all across Mexico and the United States. Because I think it is just unfair to have all of those people coming across, and to have the borders open the way it is. We in California have to still finish the border. That is the key thing -- to have borders and to keep the law, enforce the law.", Schwarzenegger told hundreds of newspaper publishers at the Newspaper Association of America convention at the Fairmont Hotel in San Francisco.

Arnold needs to arrange a private screening of Sergio Arau and Yareli Arizmendi's film - "A Day Without A Mexican". In an interview with Bija Gutoff on the Apple Final Cut Pro site Sergio explains the genesis of the film:

“I was waiting for my car to be washed, and this guy handed me a tip,” says Sergio Arau. “In a restaurant someone heard me speaking Spanish and asked me to bring water. I’d say to myself, ‘Do I look like I work here?’”

Yareli Arizmendi and Sergio Arau

A well-known journalist, cartoonist, animator, musician and film and video director in Mexico City, Arau was used to being viewed as a serious professional. So it was a shock to discover how little his resume counted in the U.S.

“What happened?” asks Arau. “I had a long career before I came here, and because I didn’t speak English, for the first time in my life I was a minority. No one knew or cared about the work I had done. What’s worse, they didn’t even see me.”

As an immigrant, Arnold Schwarzenegger should realize the unwarranted and destructive nature of his comments. Close off immigration from Mexico, Central and South America and California will grind to a halt. Take a break Arnold. Grab a bowl of popcorn. Screen "A Day Without A Mexican". Get ready to laugh and learn a few things. Remember Arnold; it's that other newly elected German-speaking guy who thinks he is infallible.

Gregg Chadwick
Portrait of Yareli Arizmendi
40"x30" oil on linen 2012

"How do you make the invisible visible? You take it away," says Yareli Arizmendi, the film's lead actress, co-writer and co-producer, also known for her portrayal of Rosaura in Like Water for Chocolate.

Arizmendi's mantra comes from the old adage 'you don't know what you have until it's gone,’ and it is precisely this idea and sentiment that the filmmakers want us to walk away with-- knowing and feeling that immigrants, legal or illegal, are indispensable not only to our economy but to our very way of life.

"The most important thing is that we are human beings," says Sergio Arau, the film's director, co-writer and co-producer.

"I believe this film will make a better place for my kids," says Sergio Guerrero, the film's co-writer, second-unit director and one of the top directors of Spanish-language television commercials."

*Interview With Sergio and Yareli from the article "A Day Without Racism?" by Ricardo Acuña in Socal.com

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