Quinceañera Movie Guide
(Los Angeles CA, USA, 2006, 90 minutos)
Pregunta Esencial: ¿Cuáles son los principales factores que influyen en los valores de una persona?
Packet includes images and 22 questions before, during and after the movie to keep students on task and reflect on the traditions presented in the film, but also their own.
I use this movie for the AP Spanish Language and Culture class theme on Families and Communities. Las Familias y Las Comunidades. In particular the subtheme or lesson, that I do on Traditions and Values. Las tradiciones y los valores.
As Magdalena's (Emily Rios) 15th birthday approaches, her working class family prepares for the all-important QUINCEAÑERA - a lavish coming-of-age celebration. To help with expenses, Magdalena is forced to wear a hand-me-down party dress and abandon her dream of arriving in a Hummer limousine. But when her father discovers she's pregnant and refuses to believe the incredible truth - she's actually still a virgin - Magdalena moves in with her elderly Uncle Tomas (Chalo González) and black sheep cousin Carlos (Jesse Garcia). Her newfound family is soon put to the test, however, when an unexpected crisis threatens to tear them apart, and Magdalena learns what it truly means to come of age.
A Sundance Film Festival Grand Jury Prize-winner, Quinceañera is a small film with a big heart. The plot unfolds at the leisurely pace of life itself, yet there's not a wasted moment in the script. The story follows the travails of young Magdalena (Emily Rios), a teen in the Mexican-American, but gentrifying, Los Angeles neighborhood of Echo Park. As Magdalena's 15th birthday approaches, and the festive coming-of-age quinceañera party that accompanies it, life throws her a curve ball in the form of an unexpected--and possibly miraculous--pregnancy. In disgrace, she turns to her elderly uncle Tomas and sometime gangbanger and not-quite-uncloseted gay cousin Carlos. The interactions of these unlikely family members ring completely true, with stellar performances by Dios as well as Chalo González as her warm Tio Tomas and Jesse Garcia as the smoldering Carlos. The portrayal of life in Echo Park is intimate and effortless, as the teens slide interchangeably between Spanish and English; crime and gang activities coexist with trendy gay couples and their fashionable remodels. And in the heart of it all, the family ties among the three lead characters prove unconventional--and unbreakable. The DVD also contains a commentary with the filmmakers and cast members, a Q&A with them, and a "making-of" featurette. --A.T. Hurley
You can purchase the film for less than five dollars on Amazon.com
Or you can find it on Youtube.com as well.