About The Film
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"A Day's Work" is a short film written and directed by Rajeev Dassani. It was completed in January of 2008. It was shot on 35 mm in color, and is 17 minutes in length. Among our screening formats we have the following available: 35mm print, HDCAM, Digibeta, Betacam, DV or DVCAM, and DVD.

Logline
Synopsis
Director's Statement
Electronic Press Kit

Logline

Alone in Los Angeles, Enrique doesn't speak a word of English. Forced to work as a day laborer to earn money for loved ones back home, his loyalties are put to the test when a simple job escalates into a matter of life and death.

Synopsis

Enrique is a young man far from home trying to make a living wage as a day laborer on the streets of Los Angeles. He thinks he has finally caught a break when Marcus and Kathy pick him up, along with two other immigrant laborers, to help them move. On the job Enrique meets and befriends their teenage son Zack as he helps pack up his childhood room. But things quickly take a turn for the worst when Marcus attempts to pay the men with a check, unaware that day laborers are often cheated out of their wages with bad checks. A simple misunderstanding explodes into a violent standoff with Enrique stuck in the middle.

“A Day’s Work” examines the hopes and fears inherent to the immigrant story, both on the part those crossing the border and those learning to live in a rapidly changing America. When violence erupts, the prejudices of all involved are brought to light and mistrust, assumption and language stand as barriers to an easy resolution.

Director's Statement

"A Day's Work" is about the situation we are born into in life. For some, we are born in a wealthy country, into a life where we can choose what we want to do, what interests us. For others, life from the very beginning is a constant struggle, to survive, to care for our family, to live our lives. This for me is at the core of the immigration debate, the haves and the have nots, people just wanting to improve their lives and work hard, others not wanting their lives threatened, and sometimes willing to take advantage of the desperate.

I grew up the son of an immigrant. My father fought for everything, had to make it on his own without help from anybody. He told me growing up that I should feel lucky, that I don't know what a hard life really means. And you know what; he was right. I didn't, not really. And so I began learning, and trying to understand the lives of those born without the opportunities I had in this country.

This story was born out of that. That desire to explore the boundaries between people, and the assumptions that we make. It is a story where everyone has cause for jumping to the wrong conclusion: Luis, one of the day laborers, who has been abused and cheated and treated like dirt so many times he can't bear to be falsely accused one more time. Marcus, the father, not wanting to be racist, but unable to help feeling suspicious of the laborers he hired. And Enrique, 18 years old, trying desperately to raise money for his family to join him in America, just wanting to work hard and join the American Dream… until the job becomes a nightmare.

This is a film that will make you clutch the edge of your seat, terrified because you are the only one who knows that no one is at fault, that it is all a misunderstanding born of prejudice and former abuses and preconceptions. It is a tragic story, but a hopeful one.