photo: Eleazar Castillo


Written, directed and produced by: Rachel Lears
& Robin Blotnick
Executive producer: Alex Rivera
Co-producer: Patricia Benabe
Director of photography: Rachel Lears
Editors: Robin Blotnick & David Meneses
Original score composed by: Ryan Blotnick

Hollywood Reporter
The New York Times
A crowd pleaser
Socially conscious documentary filmmaking at its best.
The Boston Globe
You will never look at your deli server the same way again
Center for Media and Social Impact


Release date: April 2014
Theatrical version runtime: 84 minutes
Broadcast version runtime: 56 minutes
In Spanish and English with Subtitles available in both languages

Filmed with the urgency and suspense of a Hitchcock thriller
The Village Voice

At a popular bakery café, residents of New York’s Upper East Side get bagels and coffee served with a smile 24 hours a day. But behind the scenes, undocumented immigrant workers face sub-legal wages, dangerous machinery, and abusive managers who will fire them for calling in sick. Mild-mannered sandwich maker Mahoma López has never been interested in politics, but in January 2012, he convinces a small group of his co-workers to fight back.

Risking deportation and the loss of their livelihood, the workers team up with a diverse crew of innovative young organizers and take the unusual step of forming their own independent union, launching themselves on a journey that will test the limits of their resolve. In one roller-coaster year, they must overcome a shocking betrayal and a two-month lockout. Lawyers will battle in back rooms, Occupy Wall Street protesters will take over the restaurant, and a picket line will divide the neighborhood. If they can win a contract, it will set a historic precedent for low-wage workers across the country. But whatever happens, Mahoma and his coworkers will never be exploited again.


  • Emmy Nominee, 2017, Outstanding Business and Economy Documentary

  • Audience Award for Best Feature, Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Durham, NC (April 2014)

  • Audience Award, DOC NYC, New York, NY (November 2014)

  • Selection “Best of Fest”, AFI DOCS, Silver Spring, MD & Washington, DC (June 2014)

  • Jury Prize, Best Documentary Feature, Sidewalk Film Festival, Birmingham, AL (August 2014)

  • International Jury Prize, Document Human Rights Film Festival, Glasgow, Scotland (October 2014)

  • Audience Award, aluCine Latin Film+Media Arts Festival, Toronto, Canada (April 2015)

  • Audience Award for Best Documentary, Chicago Latino Film Festival, Chicago, IL (April 2015)