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Film Review

By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat

 

My Family
Directed by Gregory Nava
New Line Home Video 05/95 DVD/VHS Feature Film
R - strong language, some graphic violence, a scene of sexuality

My Family is a touching and often mystical portrait of a multigenerational Mexican-American family in East Los Angeles.

During the 1920s peasant Jose Sanchez walks from Mexico to California where he settles down with Maria, a deeply religious woman. He works as a gardener and they raise six children including a writer, a nun, and a lawyer. Over the years Jose and Maria are worn down by poverty, prejudice, the death of a son, and the disrespect their children seem to have for marriage, the Catholic church, and the simple pleasures of working the land.

Director Gregory Nava (El Norte) does a fine job orchestrating the many events in this emotionally resonant drama. The excellent cast includes Jimmy Smits, Edward James Olmos, Esai Morales, Jenny Gago, and Eduardo Lopez Rojas. In the final scene, Jose and Maria sit alone in their home and acknowledge the good life they have had together. That blessing is honest, true, and beautiful.

 

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Reviews and database copyright 1970 2012
by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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