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Saturday Matinee: "On the Seventh Day"

In recent years, director Jim McKay has worked mostly in episodic television on such shows as Law and Order, The Good Wife, and Mr. Robot. On the Seventh Day marks his confident return to feature filmmaking. Here, he’s working with non-actors in a fruitful halfway point between documentary and conventional fictional narrative. The film tells the fictionalized story of a group of young Mexican immigrants who work and live together in Brooklyn, cramming eight into a one-bedroom apartment and working as dishwashers and deliverymen for local restaurants. They work long hours, six days a week. Their only free day of rest is Sunday, a day on which they love to play soccer on the soccer fields of Sunset Park. Their scrappy leader and team captain Jose (a terrific Fernando Cardona) goes to church before joining his team, Puebla, named after the village many of them are from. Puebla wins the neighborhood semifinals in opening scenes where Cardona shows off some genuine soccer skills. Jose, whose pregnant wife is in Mexico, works for a restaurant in Carroll Gardens where his boss Steve (Christopher Gabriel Nunez) appreciates him and dangles the prospect of a job “on the floor.” The soccer finals are the following Sunday, but Jose has been told he must work that day because of a big, expensive party that’s been booked. If he doesn’t work, he’ll lose his job. Jose has a week to figure out how to arrange for a replacement at work so he can try to lead his team to victory. Jose calls his wife, Elizabeth (Loren Garcia), to see how she is and to share his predicament. Jose dreams of getting Elizabeth to Brooklyn in time for the birth so their child can be born an American citizen. As for work, Jose flies across the mean streets of Brooklyn to make his deliveries to mostly unthankful people. In one scene, an entitled hipster places an order before he gets to his office and then complains when the food gets there before him. Like some other great artists, McKay finds the drama in the everyday, Jose’s bike riding superpowers, for example. He shines a light on the dignity of people on the lowest rungs of the economic ladder, people with whom we don’t interact, and often ignore. He’s a great storyteller and this is a story worth the experience. With a 100% critics’ rating on Rotten Tomatoes, On the Seventh Day is “beautifully told, without a hint of Hollywood gloss,” says Ken Eisner of Georgia Straight. Michal Phillips of the Chicago Tribune says, “The movie should be required viewing for every politician in America. It’s a gentle but cleareyed reminder of the way things are, for so very many of us.” 1:37. Not rated. In Spanish with English subtitles.

Saturday, October 5, 2019 Show more dates
2:00pm - 4:00pm
Multi-Purpose Room A
Dover Public Library
  Community and Culture