Growing up in the Mission district of San Francisco, Che Rivera (Benjamin Bratt) has always had to be tough to survive. He's a powerful man respected throughout the Mission barrio for his ... See full summary »
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Three muralists (one Chicano, one Black, one American Indian) and the socially-maladjusted cousin of the Chicano muralist set off on a road trip with the intent of painting their images on ... See full summary »
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Growing up in the Mission district of San Francisco, Che Rivera (Benjamin Bratt) has always had to be tough to survive. He's a powerful man respected throughout the Mission barrio for his masculinity and his strength, as well as for his hobby building beautiful lowrider cars. A reformed inmate and recovering alcoholic, Che has worked hard to redeem his life and do right by his pride and joy: his only son, Jes, whom he has raised on his own after the death of his wife. Che's path to redemption is tested, however, when he discovers Jes is gay. To survive his neighborhood, Che has always lived with his fists. To survive as a complete man, he'll have to embrace a side of himself he's never shown. Written by
The memorial in Che's garage indicates his wife died in 1985. The banners in the graduation scene read "La Mission High School Class of 2009". Since it is very clear Jess was a model student, it is doubtful he would be graduating high school at the age of 24 or higher. See more »
Even in L.A., this powerful film about Latino family culture only ran in a handful of theaters for a fewer number of weeks. Well worth looking for, LA MISSION is one of the most powerful and rewarding films I've seen in years.
Every actor, from unknown to under-rated, is perfectly cast and directed. Leading man Benjamin Bratt is given solid dialog, but in a major scene in which he has no words, his body and soul communicate all that needs to be said and more. The carefully chosen locations and intricately-detailed set design are reasons enough to shut your cell phone off and let it command your undivided attention.
Even the soundtrack which could have gone down a well-traveled "low rider" route takes you to unexpected places -- from indigenous Aztec folk music to India raga; from the 60s to the present. Both the original and adapted musical choices are just as involving as the script and plot. Yet it's not available on a soundtrack CD as of this writing.
Don't want to say more, because the film is best seen "cold" with little inside knowledge. But you will leave the theater (or your home screen) wondering why this well-crafted labor of love is such a well- kept secret.
Woefully overlooked despite solid reviews, it's 2 hours well spent -- and warrants repeated viewing for years to come.
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