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This is the story of Ana, a first generation Mexican-American teenager on the verge of becoming a woman. She lives in the predominately Latino community of East Los Angeles. Freshly graduated from high school, Ana receives a full scholarship to Columbia University. Her very traditional, old-world parents feel that now is the time for Ana to help provide for the family, not the time for college. Torn between her mainstream ambitions and her cultural heritage she agrees to work with her mother at her sister's downtown LA sewing factory. Over the summer she learns to admire the hardworking team of women who teach her solidarity and teamwork. Still at odds with what her mother expects of her, Ana realizes that leaving home to continue her education is essential to finding her place proudly in the world as an American and Chicana. Written by
I once read about an audition of models for an Armani fashion show. It appears the Milanese designer was rejecting everyone because he thought they were too fat to carry his clothes the way he intended. If anyone reading this comment is friendly with Giorgio, please advise him to avoid seeing this film. He's liable to have a series of strokes, or even a fatal heart attack!
What Patricia Cardoso has achieved with this film is to clarify for us that indeed, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that we should not judge the person by the image they project. What might be considered fat and ugly for the same media that only glorify the skinny people that populate the pages of the different fashion magazines, for someone else will be beautiful.
America Ferrera is a revelation. She exudes sweetness and the performance is right on the money. Her dreams to get out of the mediocrity of the factory life her mother wants for her are to be applauded because she has the smarts to make a career for herself and go to college.
The great Lupe Ontiveros plays the mother. It's a shame that this actress haven't been discovered by more directors that will employ her talents in the way she deserves. She can bring so much to a film as proved in other independent films where she has appeared. Wherever she appears one can expect the very best from her.
The rest of the cast is very good. We shall be looking forward to Ms. Cardoso's next venture with the confidence that whatever she undertakes it will be a fun time at the movies.
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