February 8, 2013
Reaction Paper One – “A Day Without A Mexican”
I have chosen to react to the 2004, Sergio Arau film, “A Day Without A Mexican”. This movie examines what might happen if one day a third of the population of the state of California just wasn’t there anymore. As the film progresses we learn that the section of the population that has disappeared is connected by the one fact that they all seem to be of Hispanic heritage. California is isolated from the rest of the country, represented by a strange pink fog, and is on its own to resolve the social, economic, and cultural issues that arise from this event. This film is intended to be a comedy/drama and satirically presents serious issues such as border control, illegal labor, occupational stereotypes and the inability of people, mostly white, to appreciate the Mexicans/Hispanics that they employ without having a clue about their respective cultures. There is a clear distinction even between Hispanics who are lighter to those who are darker skinned. The lighter Hispanics are seen to have better jobs in this movie while the darker skinned are more commonly found in agricultural or domestic occupations. We follow several people and see how this event has disturbed their lives. We see the chaos that ensues as the “invisible” population actually becomes invisible leaving mostly “whites” to acknowledge the value of the hard work they perform daily. Some learn to appreciate while others do not. A twist in this film occurs when the lead actress, who is assumed to be Mexican, didn’t vanish. As the plot unravels, we find that she is adopted and not of Hispanic descent but eventually vanishes at the moment she realizes in her heart that she is as she was raised to be, a Mexican. As the movie ends and all return, there seems to be some improvement but not enough. I think the director took a huge risk making this movie. On the surface this movie seems sophomoric, even bordering on...