Tuesday, February 7, 2012

A Better Life (2011) 4/5


Promise me you'll come back!

"Maria Full of Grace", "Under the Same Moon", "Fast Food Nation", "Babel" and quite a few others have used the medium of film to attempt to show the American public the plight of illegal Hispanic immigrants in the United States. Most of these have used snapshots or very specific situations to illustrate the problems and move the viewer to action or emotion. This movie excels in that it is able to capture a huge chunk of the illegal worker's experience and at the same time keep the story incredibly personal and relatable. As we follow Carlos Galindo through dealing with police, theft, gangs, and deportation it is impossible to avoid sharing in his joys and (sadly, much more often) his pains. Demian Bichir deserves all the accolades he is getting this award season as he gives one of the most moving and, most of all, believable performances of the year.

There is a huge problem with the way our country treats immigrants (especially those here illegally). The only way it is going to change is if we begin to think of all people as fellow citizens of the world first and then move on to how we can all have "A Better Life".

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