All about Family

DVD review

Mi Familia is a 1995 independent American drama, directed by Gregory Nava, and written by Nava and Anna Thomas.

This is the story about a second-generation Mexican immigrant (played by Edward James Olmos) who narrates his family’s history from when they emigrated from Mexico and settled in East Los Angeles.

The story begins with the journey of his father, Jose (played by Jacob Vargas in his youth, but later played by Eduardo Lopez Rojas) meeting a women named Maria (played by Jennifer Lopez in her youth, but later played by Jenny Gago) in Los Angeles and together they start a family.

Each generation goes through political and social hardships involved in being Hispanic in America, challenges that range from illegal deportations in the 1940s, to racial tensions and gang fights in the 60s and 70s, and beyond.

The message Mi Familia is trying to portray is that, even though the family went through many hardships, they always remained strong.

The movie was well received and was nominated for several awards. In 1995, it won the NCLR Bravo Award (now known as the American Latino Media Arts Award, or ALMA) for Outstanding Feature Film. Director Gregory Nava, earned the Donostia-San Sebastian International Film Festival OCIC Award (formerly presented by the International Catholic Organization for Cinema and Audiovisual). In the 1996 Young Artist Awards, Jonathan Hernandez, who played the young Jimmy Sanchez, earned the Best Young Supporting Actor Award for a Feature Film. (Wikipedia)

While it is slightly dated, the film does show a historical representation of Hispanic family life in Los Angeles and would be a good pick to honor Hispanic Heritage Month. Sit down with your family and enjoy the drama and discover that, in many ways, we’re not that different after all.