About the Film

At a popular deli on New York’s Upper East Side, customers get bagels and coffee served with a smile 24 hours a day. But behind the scenes, undocumented immigrant workers face sublegal wages, dangerous machinery, and abusive managers. 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 livelihood, the workers team up with a diverse crew of innovative young organizers and take the unusual step of forming an independent union, launching themselves on a journey that will test the limits of their resolve. In one rollercoaster year, they must overcome a shocking betrayal and a two month lockout. Lawyers will battle in backroom negotiations, 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 compañeros won’t be exploited again.

Release date: 2014  Runtime: 88 minutes

In Spanish and English with Subtitles available in both languages


Written, directed and produced byRachel Lears
Robin Blotnick
Executive producerAlex Rivera
Co-producerPatricia Benabe
Director of photography
Rachel Lears
EditorsRobin Blotnick
David Meneses
Original score composed byRyan Blotnick

Full Credits on IMDB.COM

The Hand That Feeds is a production of Jubilee Films in association with LPB and Chicken & Egg Pictures, made possible by the Sundance Institute Documentary Film Program, the Cinereach Project at Sundance Institute and the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Andrew Cuomo and the New York State Legislature