History has a funny way of always surface when needed. If this movie is your only reference of the events that depicts...well you need to hit the books! I've seen "After SChool" specials with more concern for story telling than this movie. Too much time and effort is spent in the art direction and the story suffers. The script is forced, the delivery light and none of the characters seem committed to make anything credible as if their ethnicity was enough to sell the drama. It's a waste of the big publicity machine of HBO, dedicated to this film, may be it looks good on their resume, but they backed the wrong Latino flick.
I just recently watched the latest attempt from Hollywood to ease their minds about Latino issues. "Walkout" is an HBO movie that takes a historic moment in the struggle for equality and makes an "after school" special out of it. On the other hand "Bread & Roses" delivers in every front, a good story with candid acting and a solid structure. The back drop is similar. Minorities confronted with discrimination and racism must come together to force change. A basic rule of good writing calls for a story of universal value and this one resonates beyond it's outline, because the story of the immigrant in this country is everybody's story. "Bread & Roses" doesn't preach and it doesn't dumb down the intricate subtext of the story, most of all it takes the characters seriously and never uses them as just background to carry on. HBO must remember that it takes more than a Latino surname in the credits to make a Latino story resonate. "Bread & Roses" relays on the elements that are true to good film making without having to label it. Always respect your story.