Skip to main content
University of Wisconsin–Madison

“A Better Life” film shows the true-life struggles of illegal immigrants

The film A Better Life, released this past July, was over 20 years in the making. It tells the story of a gardener whose truck- and his livelihood- were stolen. As an undocumented immigrant, he could not report the theft to the police for fear of being deported.

The film, which explores the struggles of illegal immigrants to the United States, specifically Los Angeles, had difficulty being picked up by production companies, who were wary of such a controversial film. A Better Life, however, does not take political sides in the debate, but instead focuses on the relationships between characters and the lives they lead in America.

Director Chris Weitz says the film focuses on people who are often “invisible” in real life- people afraid to be anything else for fear of authorities. In filming A Better Life, Weitz aimed to portray this story with empathy, giving a voice to those often unable to tell their story themselves.

For more information, see the official trailer for the film, or click here for an article by USAToday.

Have you seen A Better Life? Leave a comment and let us know!

24 thoughts on ““A Better Life” film shows the true-life struggles of illegal immigrants

  1. The oppressed hero is now an illegal immigrant from Mexico (played by leading Mexican actor Demián Bichir) and the bike has become a pick-up truck, an essential tool for his job as a gardener in Los Angeles. The thief is again a pathetic figure in as desperate a position as the hero.

    Atlanta Property

  2. I just saw this movie for the first time on an airline flight. I
    found it very well written and acted. I've never heard of the lead Mexican actor, but he was very good. I would watch it again.

  3. I have not seen the movie, but the story sounds compelling. People do not see the struggles of others whom they see every day. You never know what someone is or has dealt with in their lives. I have always felt like an invisible person – my whole life has been a struggle and it seems that no one sees that, maybe because I do not want them to see or and mostly because people offer the wrong help or the wrong kind of advice.

  4. I like how Chris Weitz kept the focus on the characters and avoided the usual politics of the subject matter. This movie kept the audience riveted to the screen without resorting to usual polemics found in similar subject films. Personally I think this movie is closer to "El Norte" than "The Bicycle Thief", maybe a mix of the two but still authentic. Superb performances by most of the cast including Demian Bichir as Carlos Galindo, newcomer Jose Julian as Luis Galindo, Joaquin Cosio as Blasco, Bobby Soto as Luis' friend. Richard Cabral, Jason Medwin and Tom Schanleys played very believable, three dimension roles. Eric Eason and Chris Weitz did a great job on balancing keeping it real and entertaining at the same time. Carlos, a Mexican gardener in the United States illegally doing all he can trying to single handed raise a son in a vulnerable age at a vulnerable time. If you are looking for a warm and heart felt movie without the overblown melodramas then this is a most see.

  5. I adore this article. You offer some incredible tips here. Getting the title and the lede right are critical to accomplishment as a blogger. Individuals' consideration compasses are so short on the web, that on the off chance that you don't snare them immediately,
    Al Reef Villas Abu Dhabi

  6. The story of this movie is very inspiring me and have a good meaning. it's very hard to find people like that now.

  7. Sounds very intereting, life story tells how to live life better. Great article i enjoy reading it. Really awesome movie