Amexicano! Review of the Indie Gem - Amexicano Movie.
A highly obscure movie, Amexicano is an unknown film that I happened watch while extremely bored with the limited choices on Netflixes "streaming movie" choices. They've gotten a tad better since. Nevertheless, I'm quite glad that I watched this movie, and it quickly became an indie favorite of mine.
Directed by Matthew Bonifacio and written by Carmine Famiglietti, who also stars in the movie, Amexicano was produced by both the director and writer and brings to light a personal and alternative view about the illegal immigration issue in the U.S.
Amexicano is a good film in every way. Written beautifully, the film flows and the pacing and editing is top-notch. This film brings you into the world of the characters easily, and feeling for them takes no effort whatsoever. The film is as amazing realistic as the wonderful performances.
Most films of this particular topic take the view of illegal immigration and "day laborers" from their perspective, but Amexicano takes a daring opposite approach and brings a question to the audience that many films about the subject don't ask or even think of.
The spin that this film takes is completely fresh and wonderful to watch, as the main character is taken on a personal and unexpected journey.
A blue-collar working slouch, Bruno is a lonely Italian American, who lives in the basement apartment of his landlord friend in Queens. In order to pay back rent, his landlord friend throws Bruno some construction work his way. The work requires another hand, and his landlord friend suggests getting a "day laborer" to help out with the jobs.
Bruno reluctantly seeks out the Mexican laborers who wait on a street corner each day and picks up Diego, played by Manny Perez, a bully with a serious chip on his shoulder and bad attitude. Diego solidifies Bruno's prejudices and stereotypes about the Mexican "day laborers" during the first day both are trying to build a client's fence.
After the nightmare encounter and still having no choice but to seek the day labor help, Bruno hires Ignacio, played by Raúl Castillo, to help him finish the fence. Even though Ignacio's English is very limited, Bruno is extremely impressed by Ignacio's work, despite the fact that Bruno had no problem referring Ignacio and his group of people as "fence jumpers" only days before.
A person who was once annoyed with all the signs in different languages and a believer that English should be the only accepted language in America, Bruno finds himself learning Spanish on his spare time and building an unlikely friendship with Ignacio and his wife Gabriella (Jennifer Peña) when the two welcome Bruno into their lives.
After taking Ignacio's side after his landlord friend accuses Ignacio of stealing, Bruno finds himself being evicted as well as joining Ignacio and the "day laborers" on the very corner he picked him up.
Although Amexicano deals with prejudices and stereotypes about illegal immigration and "day laborers," there is more at work here. It's more of a story about the human element involved between the characters.
Whether your views about the subject of illegal immigration, the "human" factor of this film is universal to everyone. It's this unlikely friendship between Bruno and Ignacio within the film that is the true focus and makes the most impact of relevance.
After all, one of the greatest gifts in the human experience is the gift of friendship, no matter where you may find it and how different someone may seem to you. There is a common bond between us all and this movie addresses it despite which side of the fence you may be.
I fell in love with this movie the first time I saw it, and it's a quiet charmer that's well-worth seeing.
Amexicano Movie Trailer
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