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Word Count: 497
My Family Mi Familia the first big mainstream film by and about Mexican-Americans in all our diversity This is a chronicle of one family over three generations from its origins in Mexico and parts of the US that earlier belonged to Mexico through the immigrant experience and that of first and second generation Chicanoas in Los Angeles from the 1920s to the present This film was written directed and acted by filmmakers who are of the culture they are depicting on screen After a brief introduction from Paco the narrator the film takes us back to the 1920s and Jose Sanchezs year-long walk from Michoacan to Los Angeles There he finds a distant relative El Californio who then in his eighties is proud of being a native of Los Angeles of having been born there when it was still part of Mexico before the Mexican War in 1848 Jose is a hardworking personable young man who marries US-born Maria and they start a family But when in the 1930s Mexicans are scapegoated as contributing to the DepressionLa Migra sweeps the barrios Rounding up and deporting anyone who looks Mexican regardless of citizenship Maria pregnant with her third child is sent home to a place shes never been and it takes her two years to make her way back to LA with little Chuchu If I have one criticism of the narrative of the film it is that after that episode in 1933 it skips to 1958 when Chuchu has grown up to be the baddest Pachuco gang leader in the barrio This twenty-five year jump in the story means that it leaves out what surely would have been one of the defining moments of his childhood and possible motivating factor behind his macho posturing and his anger as an adult This film feature three male faces the female characters are as diverse and fully realized in the film as are the men Marias the
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