“En la comunidad hay poder. En los números hay fuerza.” Translated to English, this line means “There’s power in community. There’s strength in numbers.” Spoken in first trailer for En el Séptimo Día, this sentiment embodies the essence of Jim McKay’s newest film. Having spent the past few years directing various high-profile television shows like The Good Wife and Mr. Robot, McKay has finally returned to independent filmmaking for the first time since 2005 – and what better time than now to craft a film that speaks to the importance of community within minority groups.
En el Séptimo Día tells the story of a group of undocumented immigrants as they navigate their full-time jobs throughout the week – ultimately leading to Sunday, the day they spend together playing soccer in Sunset Park. When team captain José (Fernando Cardona) is scheduled to work on the upcoming championship Sunday, both he and his team are forced to face this difficult situation.
The film initially premiered in New York at BAMcinemaFest, and later screened at both the Locarno and Vancouver International Film Festival. Our own Ryan Swen caught the film in New York last summer, and in his review he praised its warmhearted depictions: “En el Séptimo Día aims not for a glorified, glamorized version of an existence only slightly above poverty nor an excessive grittiness with pretenses towards ‘realism.’ Rather, it seeks to portray a certain way of life with compassion, vitality, and above all fidelity, aims that are deeply felt and executed throughout this remarkable, vigorous film.”
See the trailer and poster below.
EN EL SÉPTIMO DÍA (On the Seventh Day), a fiction feature from director Jim McKay (GIRLS TOWN, OUR SONG, EVERYDAY PEOPLE), follows a group of undocumented immigrants living in Sunset Park, Brooklyn over the course of seven days.
Bicycle delivery guys, construction workers, dishwashers, deli workers and cotton candy vendors, they work long hours six days a week and then savor their day of rest on Sundays on the soccer fields of Sunset Park. José, a bicycle delivery worker, is the team’s captain – young, talented, hardworking and responsible. When José’s team makes it to the finals, he and his teammates are thrilled. But his boss throws a wrench into the celebration when he tells José he has to work on Sunday, the day of the finals. If he doesn’t work, his job and his future will be on the line. But if he doesn’t stand up for himself and his teammates, his dignity will be crushed.
Shot in the neighborhoods of Sunset Park, Park Slope, and Gowanus, EN EL SÉPTIMO DÍA is a humane, sensitive and humorous window into a world rarely seen. The film’s impact is made quietly, with restraint and respect for the individual experiences, everyday challenges and small triumphs of its characters.
En el Séptimo Día will open in limited release beginning on June 8th.