Saturday, March 22, 2008

"Under the Same Moon" (La Misma Luna)

In Tucson, the debate of what to do about illegal immigration is a heated one with hard questions and no easy answers. Under the Same Moon (La Misma Luna) doesn't attempt to give the answers but does it's best to humanize the issue. Even the title suggests that we are all "under the same moon."

Writer Liquiah Villalobos and director Patricia Riggen present the rarely told story of the child who is left behind when a parent leaves Mexico to work in America. "Under the Same Moon," tells parallel stories of mother and son. In the opening sequence they appear to be in the same household as they perform similar chores while waiting to be reunited. Nine-year-old Carlitos (Adrian Alonso ) can't wait until Sunday for his mother's weekly call at the town pay phone. His mother, Rosario, (Kate de Castillo) is in East L.A. working to provide a "better life" for him. Carlitos doesn't understand how it can be a better life without his mother. He needs her now. So when his grandmother unexpectedly dies,Carlitos sneaks across the border to find her.

The parallels continue as Carlitos experiences first hand the same hardships and dangers his mother had to endure crossing the border and working illegally.
While he is struggling to get to her in America, she is preparing to return to Mexico to be with him. Carlitos looks at the moon when he's lonely because he's been told that she is looking at it too. Their connection is that strong.

Some reviewers have a problem with this precocious nine year old whose innocent devotion brings out the decency in folks. Perhaps it would be more real if he got tired and irritable sometimes. But this is a movie that believes in the goodness in people and the connection between a son and his mom. If you still believe in the goodness in people that connects us all, don't miss, "Under the Same Moon."

Movie Blessings!
Jana Segal

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