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The Hand That Feeds

HD   Unrated Closed Captioning

Rachel Lears & Robin Blotnick

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About the Movie

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.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 14
  • Fresh: 13
  • Rotten: 1
  • Average Rating: 7.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: "The Hand That Feeds" is an effective portrayal of the intricacies of activism - and of a situation in which victories seem all too brief. – Ben Kenigsberg, New York Times, Apr 2, 2015

Fresh: The Hand That Feeds is an impassioned socially themed documentary that may even succeed in swaying a few hearts and minds. – Frank Scheck, Hollywood Reporter, Mar 24, 2015

Fresh: Lopez is a singularly tender, compelling, and articulate campaigner in this high-stakes struggle for justice, filmed with the urgency and suspense of a Hitchcock thriller. – Diana Clarke, Village Voice, Mar 31, 2015

Fresh: This is engaging nonfiction storytelling, deftly edited for maximum suspense and heartening in its depiction of collective endeavor. – Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, Mar 6, 2015

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews

Exciting, Important & Timely

We had the exhilarating experience of watching this film as part of a packed audience at it's premiere at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival. It's rare for a social justice documentary to bring an audience to it's feet - stomping, cheering, crying, and feeling triumphant. It won the Audience Award there. It's a wonderful, inspiring, character-driven story, beautifully filmed and scored, about the power of solidarity.

The Hand That Feeds
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Customer Ratings

We have not received enough ratings to display an average for this movie.