I absolutely love this film for so many reasons. The plot, the actors, and the fact that I can show it to almost any age group and level is a bonus!
One of the most controversial and common themes when learning Spanish is immigration, and this film dives into it right from the beginning. We see two women, Rosario and Alicia swimming to cross the border from Mexico to the US when La Migra (Immigration Police) catches them. They manage to get away and make it to LA, where they start a new life. However, Rosario left behind her mother and her son, Carlitos. We learn that she crossed the border so that she could work and provide for her family, as the opportunities in the US were better. This, as we know, is called The American Dream. But we learn that this is just a dream and that life in the US for an undocumented immigrant is very challenging. This is why Rosario is away from her son and mother for so long – it’s very difficult to find a lawyer to bring them over without getting robbed. Being an undocumented citizen leaves you very exposed and vulnerable and unfortunately, many people take advantage of that. And therefore, we learn about Carlitos and Rosario’s separation of 4 years. We learn about this through the only scene where we see them interacting: a phone call they have every Sunday. After this, Carlitos decides to cross the border to be reunited with his mother. This film takes us through his voyage and all the obstacles he encounters along the way.
This film is beautiful, moving, and at times, puts you on edge because you’re rooting for Carlitos and Rosario to be reunited. It’s a perfect film for younger students, such as Grade 7 or higher. However, I’ve shown it to high school students in Spanish 1 and 2 and they loved it as well. I do think that for higher levels, there are much better films, as the only subtitles I’ve found on the DVD are in English. But if you are a Spanish teacher, this is a fantastic movie to teach because it doesn’t have any swear words and no mature scenes that you have to worry about. You can either buy the DVD or buy it on Apple TV, Amazon Prime, or YouTube. Finally, the famous Kate del Castillo plays Rosario and as always, she does a phenomenal job in this film. Try it out today – you won’t regret it!