An Oscar Nomination For A Day Laborer Role in “A Better Life” Brings Awareness

By Victoria Cepeda

A few months back we shared the trailer of a movie called A Better Life which depicts the struggle of a day laborer residing in the U.S. undocumented but working in the landscaping business and trying to provide his teenage son with a better future. We shared the trailer because it reminded us of the cruel reality thousands of day laborers, many of them undocumented, live everyday. Well A Better Life just got more attention thanks to last night’s best leading actor Oscar nomination for Mexican actor Demián Bichir who is competing for the prize against George Clooney and Brad Pitt among others. Bichir’s  heart wrenching performance is testimony of the unending extent to which parents would go in order to grant their children the opportunities they lacked.

Earlier today, in an e-mail that I received from Pablo Alvarado on behalf of the National Day Laborer Organization Network, he states that the “movie transcends the scapegoating and shows a family struggling to make it, something we all can relate to.”


During an interview Bichir was asked about his take on illegal immigration. In his opinion “homeland security means knowing our neighbors.”

A Better Life was directed by Chris Weitz (also director of the Twilight series) in an attempt to open up the dialogue and stop the hate.  Although we doubt that this film will quiet down the anti-Latino/illegal immigration talk among politicians and some of their constituents, it at least portrays day laborers in a more positive light than usual. By talking about this topic, supporting the movie and bringing awareness we help fight the stereotypes. Pa’lante.

Join National Day Laborer Organization Network (NDLON) on Facebook at

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One Response to “An Oscar Nomination For A Day Laborer Role in “A Better Life” Brings Awareness”

  1. This is one of those movies that doesn’t come at you with an agenda, it tells a human story that illustrates universal themes of family, justice, and societies. My entire family saw the movie, some of them twice.
    I’ve seen the Clooney & Pitt movies and although good, their acting doesn’t come close to the emotion that Bichir evokes.
    Very surprised to hear that the Twilight director is the same one for A Better Life.

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