I’m sharing this review of La Mission that I think I missed when it came out.
Moreover, I’d like to quote what appeared about La Mission in an article published on the Sundance Festival website.
That lingering sense of taboo is explored with full force in La Mission, Peter Bratt’s film about a father’s coming to terms with his teen son’s sexual identity. Set in San Francisco’s Mission district, the film (which plays in the Spectrum section) ponders how homosexuality upsets the patriarchal culture of the Latino community.
Che Rivera (Benjamin Bratt, who is the director’s brother) is a neighborhood grand Pooh-Bah who runs a car garage by day and indulges his passion for low-rider vehicles by night. Known for his generosity and kindness, he nevertheless throws a violent fit when he discovers that his only son, Jesse (Jeremy Ray Valdez), is gay.
The director, who hails from the Mission, says that societies of color see homosexuality in men as a feminizing trait, which is anathema to a culture that places macho, patriarchal figures on a pedestal. (A portrait of Al Pacino as Don Corleone hangs in Che’s garage.)
“There’s a homophobia in people of color that’s more present than in the mainstream,” says Bratt. “Religiosity has a great deal to do with it. But I think people want to change. We’re perhaps moving past those patriarchal ideals.”
Now I’m keeping my fingers crossed that La Mission will be distributed in theatres soon.