From Queens to the Mexican Border
D. Hupp | Woodbridge, VA United States | 01/16/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"AMEXICANO is not a formulaic film about day laborers & illegal immigration. Rather it is a story about an unlikely friendship that emerges not only during a number of day-labor projects in Queens but also through a series of events that occur off the job.
Not knowing what to expect from this virtually unpublicized Independent production, I enjoyed watching the gradual development of the story from its quirky beginning about the ill fortunes of a seemingly lazy "gordito" into one of abiding friendship. Bruno, the Italian-American "gringo boss" from Queens (played by Carmine Famiglietti), plays a hunch that Ignacio, a rather reserved-looking illegal Mexican day laborer (played by Raul Castillo), might be just the kind of worker that he needs to help him turn his luck around and pay off his mounting debts.
At first we see 2 men from very different backgrounds who can barely communicate with each other. Gradually they develop a work ethic that enables them to know each other better and leads them to better paying projects.
Suddenly, through an unfortunate incident, Bruno and Ignacio find themselves in a similar predicament -- having to hustle again to get regular work and re-establish themselves as a capable pair of workers. When Ignacio stands up for Bruno with the other Latino day laborers (mostly Mexican), their relationship evolves into a story with heart and some funny and touching moments.
The acting in AMEXICANO is quite good. All of the main characters (Famiglietti, Castillo, Jennifer Pena, and Manny Perez) play their roles convincingly. Each adds fresh dimensions to the story to give it a special charm that most Independent films hope to achieve.
There are a number of other enjoyable developments in the film to give it more breadth and depth, such as an ill-fated love triangle, which I mention here primarily to whet your appetite for this DVD without spoiling the story for you.
My only caution about AMEXICANO is that some viewers might want to politicize the film. It's very clear to me, especially from viewing the SPECIAL FEATURE interviews of the principal cast members (Pena, Perez & Castillo), the director (Matthew Bonifacio), and screenwriter-actor(Famiglietti), that this is a human story, not a political "piece". Those who wish to politicize the film will, but I assert that they will miss the charm of this film."
MALUGO | USA | 05/22/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"excellent movie about what truly happens to day labors and other immigrants who come here to work and not be a burden to our country, I know personally about immigrants as I work in this field and to see a movie so realistic..finally..was awesome as were the actors, Jennifer Peña btw is an awesome singer, check her music out...thanks!"