Although it took me a few attempts to really stick in with the opening of the film, Mi Familia or My Family, I am glad that restarting at the beginning of the film and watched it in its entirety. After beginning to see the humor and humanness of the narrator and the narrating characters within this story, I was actually hooked to the screen, eager to know what next adventure awaits this complex, true and loving family. I was very delighted to see that this film addressed issues of unfair deportation of legal citizens in the United States in such an emotional and gripping way.
After journeying with Paco’s father through Mexico to the east side California, and watching his family grow and develop, I began to root for him hoping that everything would turn out well for him and his family. I was able to do this because the writer and makers of the film developed characters, especially, the Mexican and Hispanic characters in the film, with in depth history, background, psyche, wants and needs that accompany the universal themes found in their story depicted in this film.
I was delighted to see that his film pointed toward historical and cultural issues that have been forgotten or less publicized throughout the teaching of American history.
The filmmakers chose to highlight the issue that some citizens of the U.S. like the character, El California, who was born in Los Angeles when it was still Mexico, do not accept what the United State’s government did to their people or their land.
El California’s character, expressed beliefs through his dialogue in the film about Los Angeles are so poignant in the film that I began to inquire whether Los Angeles had once been a part of Mexico. Upon doing research, I discovered that Los Angeles was in fact originally a small Mexican town that later became a part of the United State’s territory.
This film, whether intentionally or not, validates the sentiments that may be felt amongst some members of the Mexican community in the United States by respectfully and creatively using dialogue, images, sound, and universal themes. These universal themes and use of film techniques create characters of Mexican descent who may not be perfect, but are shown to be complex in how they dealt with the situations that life brought their way.
This film successfully makes a hero out of each individual member in this family. I am able to recognize the villain or major antagonist in this film as the system and the system’s impact on early childhood development in relation to the effect that those experiences have on their lives in adolescent and adult years.