Last year, a refreshing film about immigration issues premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival. Amexicano is a story about a Queens native, Bruno (writer and actor Carmine Famiglietti), who is down on his luck and behind on his rent. A friend finds work for Bruno doing construction and remodeling, and this will involve hiring on illegal immigrants.
Bruno is set in his ways and doesn’t want to help out any illegals, so he’s hesitant to take on the job. The first guy he hires on is stereotypically lazy, only reinforcing Bruno’s opinions of Mexican immigrants. It is only when he meets Ignacio (played by Raul Castillo), does he begin to learn that many immigrants are just looking for the American dream like so many others who came before them.
This great film was released in New York earlier this fall to good reviews from the Times. Now the film is being taken to smaller Hispanic markets where the subject matter is even more relevant.
Amexicano opened in Edinburg, Texas, on December 5 where writer and actor Carmine Famiglietti, as well as actors Raul Castillo and Jennifer Pena were on-hand to answer questions from audience members in the small south Texas city. People turned out in such great numbers that the film, which was supposed to close on December 11, was kept on for an additional week.
Carmine Famiglietti and director Matthew Bonifacio are both natives of Queens, and much of the film was shot on location in Queens and Deming, New Mexico. Famiglietti is looking for more markets to show his film, which is a wonderful story of friendship and compassion regardless of what language you speak or where you come from.
If you weren’t able to catch the movie when it was showing here in New York, have no fear: a DVD release of Amexicano should be expected sometime in the first quarter of 2009.
This post was contributed by Kelly Kilpatrick, who writes on the subject of student college reviews. She invites your feedback at kellykilpatrick24 at gmail dot com