I’m taking a break from the news about The Cleaner that abound at the moment, and I thought I can share some info about a movie that will be out next year, Mission Street Rhapsody.
AKA as Mission Street Love and filmed last Spring on San Francisco’s Valencia – roughly between 19th and 21st Streets-, it features Benjamin as Che and was written and directed by Benjamin’s brother, Peter.
Che – Benjamin’s character – is a humble bus driver in San Francisco’s Mission District, but in el barrio, he is “EL MERO CHINGON” — the baddest Chicano on the block. Raised on tough breaks, disappointment, and time in jail, he renounced his life of drugs and crime to raise his teenage son. Che’s world is now his son, Jesse, his lifelong friends (the Mission Boyz), and his devotion to lowrider cars. At “church” in his garage, his gospel follows the Chicano tradition of salvaging junked cars and baptizing them into “classics”. But Che’s real faith is in Jesse. Charming and intelligent, Jesse is an honors student bound for college. Che works feverishly to ready a “to-the-bone” lowrider for Jesse, a symbolic rite of passage. It is also a reminder to Jesse that no matter how far he travels in life, he will always stay connected to his roots. But this connection is shattered when Che discovers that Jesse is gay. In a homophobic rage, Che violently beats his son – “the best friend he’s got” – for being who he is. Che struggles with his reaction to Jesse’s revelation. In his anger, he loses his son. He loses his faith. He, once again, loses himself. Enter Lena, his new neighbor. A social activist with bohemian sensibilities, Lena has dedicated her life to ending violence against women. The two fiery souls could not be more different, yet their mutual attraction is undeniable. A possible bridge to his enlightenment, Lena’s wisdom and strength may be the virtues to help Che find a way back to his son.