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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An aspiring author during the civil rights movement of the 1960s decides to write a book detailing the African-American maids' point of view on the white families for which they work, and the hardships they go through on a daily basis.
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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 »
Actually, Benjamin Bratt said, "My brother Peter throws a lot into this movie." I went to a sold out screening on May 11, 2010, at the Pasadena Playhouse. This was a special screening as not only was Benjamin there; there was co-star Jeremy Ray Valdez and Laureen Selman, President of Reel Green Media, and who has the unusual screen credit as Environmental Consultant.
Though Bratt is a familiar face with many credits, such as a regular on LAW & ORDER and co-star in one of Sandra Bollack's biggest hits, "MISS CONGENIALITY", he really wanted to make a film that portrays life where he grew up in, the Mission District in San Francisco. Locals pronounce La Mission as Spanish, La Mis-see-own. But he got nothing but "no's" from the top brass. They told him that there was no audience for this kind of story.
But he had faith in his brother's story so they became producers with help from AMC Independent. Knowing the effects of movie making does to the environment, Selman came on board to ensure that waste was cut down. Cast and crew had to refill their water bottles or use metal containers. Cars ran on vegetable oil and ways for minimal use of paper work was investigated.
I'll only give the setup of this movie as I do encourage seeing this movie. Che (Benjamin Bratt) is an ace mechanic who operates from his own garage. He often has his friends over while he works and he visits him regularly as well, playing dominoes and shooting the breeze. Most are Chicanos, like himself, though some English speaking African Americans are part of the group.
Though beer and hard liquor is around him, he does not drink at all. In fact, one of his amigos is his AA sponsor. He's done time in prison and divorced from his wife. He has his son Jessie (Jeremy Ray Valdez) living with him. Jeremy is in his last year of high school and studying to be a college student.
Just moved in on the second floor on top of his garage is a very spiritually minded African American, Lena (Ericka Alexander) who does not get along at Che at first.
However, things get all turned around when he finds photographic evidence that his son Jesse is gay. He beats his son and throws him out of his apartment.
Not a typical gang banger story at all and as in real life, everything does not resolve into one neat package. However, this is a good glimpse of of seeing realities in different perceptions and a story of transformation. Definitely not for kids but a very good one for those who like to keep an open mind.
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