A Day’s Work

Posted on March 27, 2011

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A Day’s Work brings to light the issues of racism, illegal immigration, and ignorance. There is much more than just a language barrier between the main characters.  The films opens with chaos, as the husband and wife try to find immigrant workers to help them move. The moment the dispute over what they are to be paid begins, the tension between the characters begins to mount. This tension is portrayed perfectly through the use of language, as the workers speak Spanish and the family speaks English. The bridge between these two groups is the couple’s son, who speaks only minimal Spanish.

The son seems to represent the younger generation, in that he has the ability to change the future relations between these two groups of people. He feels a strong desire to protect his family, but also recognizes that the violent incident happened because of a quite simple misunderstanding. The workers were promised cash, but when the husband’s wallet goes missing, he automatically blames the workers, because there is limited understanding between them. This misunderstanding quickly escalates into violence.

In the end, there is little resolution offered to the problem. The viewers can see that the workers do this strenuous work for little pay every day, just to make ends meet. But at the same time, the husband and wife are having financial troubles of their own. Although they share a lot of similarities, they fail to see and understand one another. The real message behind this film is to try to understand the perspective of those who are different than you, instead of immediately mistrusting them. Sometimes, these people have more to offer than we can see on the outside, and those who are willing to take the time to try and connect, like the son did, will better see both sides of the story.

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