Film: Aquí y allá (Here And There)
Director: Antonio Méndez Esparza
Synopsis: After working in the US for many years, Pedro returns to his home in Guerrero, Mexico. Having saved some money from his time across the border, Pedro works towards giving his family a better life, and fulfilling his dream to start a band called the Copa Kings. While working in the fields, Pedro meets a teenager who shares this hope, and begins to mentor him.
Why would someone leave their family behind to go to a foreign country where they'll face language problems, get low-paying jobs and be faced by questioning authorities? In Antonio Méndez Esparza's film, the issue of illegal immigration - the desperate poverty and the physical and mental stress that immigrants face - is presented with realism and grace.
Pedro returns to his home country Mexico after working in the US for many years. His wife still smiles at him in the same way, but his daughters are aloof. He wants to use his savings to give his family a comfortable life and realise his own dream. However, life's harsh realities keep getting in the way. The film moves at a delicate pace, which lets us get closer to the characters and feel like we inhabit their world. This makes the climax extremely powerful and personal. You walk out of Aquí y allá knowing that you've seen something special.
by Laya Maheshwari (St Xaviers' College)
Written by film enthusiasts, these reviews are part of Mumbai Young Critics, an initiative by HT Café in association with MAMI