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For this affecting labor of love, Peter Bratt focuses on a Latino widower with rigid views on masculinity. A bus driver covered in tattoos, Che Rivera (the filmmaker's brother, Benjamin Bratt) lives in San Francisco's Mission District with his son, Jes (Jeremy Ray Valdez). A recovering alcoholic who customizes low-riders on the side, Che takes pride in the high school senior's academic achievements, but he doesn't take kindly to homosexuals--and has no clue about Jes's secret life until he finds the photographic evidence. As expected, he gets upset, but Jes's insulting defense only makes matters worse and leads Che to kick him out. While Jes stays with relatives until things cool down, Che tries to resist the bottle, but word travels fast in a close-knit community, and the personal becomes political when bullies hassle the Riveras, leaving Che to consider revenge. Lena (the radiant Erika Alexander), a concerned neighbor who works at a women's shelter, tries to help father and son mend fences, but there's only so much she can do. She's also interested in Che, and he in her, but their personalities present a more significant obstacle than race or culture. In less adept hands,La Missioncould've become a preachy soap opera, but despite a few creaky plot mechanics, Bratt's attention to detail ensures that his characters register more as sympathetic individuals than stereotypes. He's aided in his efforts by strong performances, flavorful old-school funk, and camera work that celebrates the beauty of a rapidly gentrifying region.--Kathleen C. Fennessy
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Details

CastBenjamin Bratt
DirectorPeter Bratt
Genre:  Drama
MPAA Rating:  R
DVD Release Date:  August 10, 2010
Runtime:  117 minutes
Studio:  Screen Media
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review by . August 11, 2010
posted in Movie Hype
Writer/director Peter Bratt had the choice in LA MISSION to make a film about the Hispanic culture in San Francisco's Mission district to create a predictable imitation of life or a sensitive study of a culture with all of its beauty and with all of its problems: gratefully he took the latter. This is a film bursting with fantastic color from the inimitable clash of pigments used for the interiors of the homes of this culture to the fantasyland carefully restored old cars painted with religious …
review by . July 09, 2010
Che Rivera (Benjamin Bratt) defines himself not merely by his ethnic and spiritual culture, but also by street culture, growing up tough and maintaining that image on a daily basis. Living in the Mission district of San Francisco, he earns the respect of his neighbors by being the very definition of masculinity: Physically strong, emotionless except for anger, able to finish a fight should one start. He's also passionate about restoring classic cars, a hobby that requires intensive manual labor. …
review by . May 29, 2010
"La Mission"            Tradition, Family and Rage            Amos Lassen        It is not often that we get a film of brilliance like we get in "La Mission" and this is all due to Benjamin Bratt who does a beautiful, or should I say, gorgeous, job piece of acting in his portrayal of a complex, tortured conservative Latino who is pushed to …
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La Mission (2009)
La Mission
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