Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Mission District, San Francisco (La Mission)

(A charming row of houses in the Mission)

I lived in the Mission District in San Francisco for many years. It is a terrific neighborhood. When I read that a new movie was coming out about my old stomping grounds, starring Benjamin Bratt, and titled "La Mission," I figured this would be a must-see for me.

La Mission gets a very good review from Rex Reed in The New York Observer:

Benjamin Bratt ... has carved a distinguished career as an actor of integrity and vision. But none of his achievements have been more honest, passionate or remarkable than his... [role in the movie] La Mission....

(Taqueria La Cumbre - best burritos in San Francisco)

Set in the colorful Mission District in San Francisco, in which the Bratts grew up ... La Mission focuses on a rigid Latino symbol of old-world machismo named Che Rivera, played with so much testosterone by Mr. Bratt that even his painted-on tattoos threaten to jump right off his abs and kick you in the groin. Che is an ex-con and a recovering alcoholic who works as a San Francisco bus driver; he has a special talent for making over low-riding Chevy convertibles equipped with hydraulic lifts....

[Che discovers that his son is gay, and violently rejects him].

(24th St. Bart on Mission St.)

La Mission, carefully directed by Peter Bratt and beautifully photographed by award-winning cinematographer Hiro Narita (Never Cry Wolf), explores the human side of a culture we know almost nothing about, in a world usually exploited on film to depict drugs and danger. .... Mr. Bratt [gives] an intense, multilayered performance as a man who must learn there is more to masculinity than a pair of fists.

(24th St. Bart)

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