When a mysterious fog surrounds the boundaries of California, there is a communication breakdown and all the Mexicans disappear, affecting the economy and the state stops working missing the Mexican workers and dwellers.
Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
A thick fog surrounds California's borders, communication beyond state lines is cut off, and the Mexicans disappear: workers, spouses, and business owners are missing. Cars are abandoned in the street, food is left cooking on the stove. We meet the wife of a musician who's gone, a state Senator whose maid doesn't show up for work, and a farm owner whose produce is ripe and unpicked. A scientist asks any Mexicans who haven't disappeared to volunteer for genetic experiments: a female newscaster and the daughter of the musician may be the only missing links around. Why them? And where have all the Mexicans gone? Even the border guards grieve. The state and its economy grind to a halt. Written by
This film got it's press from the "inflammatory" title, but the ad campaign was aimed to put your butt in the movie seat, and it worked for this micro-budget movie... it ended up with a profit in Los Angeles alone. This was quite clever because the film got a much larger audience than it would have received otherwise, regardless of anyone's personal feelings. The ads were done so that any reasonably intelligent person could see the tongue-in-cheek manner in which the ad campaign was carried out, and those who couldn't, well... they'd probably go see the movie just so they could be even more angry.
So I went to see the movie, not so much because of the controversy, but to see how good a film had been put together. I was really disappointed. For as clever a campaign had been crafted to get people to see their movie, the filmmakers failed miserably at keeping them interested.
The storyline is not too terribly involving, and the "morality tale" message is really beat into your head with a hammer from the first minute all the way to the end. The acting is amateurish... it had a very distinct high school film project look and feel to it, and although I'm no stranger to low budget films... this one really looked bad. The film quality was so terribly grainy that it was distracting, and the attempts at "visual effects" even moreso. I would have been more impressed and they would have saved a few bucks if they'd left them out.
The coup d'etat... I fell asleep. And I had really wanted to like this movie... I went in having a really good feeling about it.
The film would probably have made a great half hour after school special or educational video, with all of the boring and tedious plot left out and all of the interesting factoids about the Mexican contribution to American culture left in. I know many of my Mexican friends who saw it got a kick out of some of the cultural in-jokes in the movie, but almost across the board they agree with me that the movie wasn't very good.
So there you go. If you have a burning desire to learn some fairly obvious facts about Mexican culture in California, jump right in. My feeling is that people who are ignorant to the information put forward in the film are probably not inclined to care or want to know anyway... but there's never any harm in trying to get the word out. All minorities in the U.S. have historically been mistreated and maligned, and if one were really inclined to learn some perspective about American treatment of Mexicans, Indians, Blacks, Asians... I would suggest a read of 'A People's History of the United States' by Howard Zinn. NOW THAT'S AN EYE OPENER.
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