At the 23rd Annual Cinequest Film Festival running Feb 26 through March 10
Meet Dionicia, a mother of five, and her husband, Mario in the remarkable documentary, Stable Life by Director Sara MacPherson and Producer Tricia Creason-Valencia premiering Wednesday, February 27, 2013.
The Martinez’s life was stable while living and working at Bay Meadows of San Mateo, Calif. The family’s passion for the stable life, livelihood, and unity is cleverly projected in this documentary film, along with the unimaginable heartbreak that occurs afterwards. The racetrack is demolished, there is little work, the community is torn apart, and then the Martinez family is also separated.
By Eydie Mendoza
“A whole community that counts on it for a living,” reports the news anchor and 500-600 employees lost their job that day.
Leading up to the days of the Bay Meadow Racetrack closure on August 17, 2008, Stable Life a film by Director/Producer Sara MacPherson and Producer Tricia Creason-Valencia in (English and Spanish with English Subtitles) captures the life, hopes and dreams through the eyes of Dionicia Martinez, a stable hot walker a mother of five.
Producer Sara MacPherson and Producer Tricia Creason-Valencia
In this documentary the passions and dreams of the stable workers are captured, welcoming the audience into the livelihood of the Martinez family and the community that nurtures the tracks.
Dionicia shares that her ultimate low was when she stole from a neighbor’s farm, back in Mexico, to cook for her family, and that she swore she did not want to live that way, or for her children to suffer as she did. She stresses that that’s no way to live, that a person can be a mother but it doesn’t mean a thing if you cannot feed your child.
Meet her husband Mario who works lives and works at the stables. Mario and Donicia came to the Unites States with hopes and dreams of a better life. They are skilled in caring for the horses. Their eldest son, Jose Luis was born in Mexico and crossed the border when he was a 12-year-old and becomes a horse jockey. Two of their sons Mario (Junior) and Homar are born in California, but Andres and Carlos stay behind with Mario parents.
Working conditions vary between tracks. At Bay Meadows they get room, board and $900 every 15 days. Dionicia and Mario share a room and the two boys have room, as well. While one might question these living conditions, the Martinez’s are grateful for to be together and for the basics, like running water.
(Photo: Benoit Photography)
Experience the emotional heart break as Bay Meadows of San Mateo prepares to close and watch it crumble.
Just then a caller alerts the director, “Sarah … Dionicia and Mario were arrested and they might be deported very soon.”
What was stability for the Martinez family crumbles after the tracks close.
Producer Tricia Creason-Valencia quotes Dionicia, “The U.S. separates families.”
If you missed the premier of Stable Life on Wednesday, February 27, Cinequest Film Festival is scheduled to show on Sunday, March 3, 4pm and Tuesday, March 5, 7pm, but check the guide for updated times and location http://www.cinequest.org.