Under the Same Moon is a must-see movie for every professional working with the Hispanic community in the U.S. Directed by Patricia Riggen, the movie possesses a prime cast of Hispanic/Mexican actors and actresses such as soap-opera star Kate del Castillo (Rosario), Mexican diva Carmen Salinas (Dona Carmen), former congresswoman and actress María Rojo (Reyna), Ugly Betty’s América Ferrara (Marta) and comedian and Broadway actor (in Rick Najera’s Latinologues) Eugenio Derbez (Enrique) , and a great performance by the young but experienced Adrian Alonso (Carlitos). As an added bonus, the film features a special appearance by Norteño music super-stars Los Tigres del Norte.
FOX Searchlight provides the following synopsis:
UNDER THE SAME MOON (LA MISMA LUNA)tells the parallel stories of nine-year-old Carlitos and his mother, Rosario. In the hopes of providing a better life for her son, Rosario works illegally in the U.S. while her mother cares for Carlitos back in Mexico. Unexpected circumstances drive both Rosario and Carlitos to embark on their own journeys in a desperate attempt to reunite. Along the way, mother and son face challenges and obstacles but never lose hope that they will one day be together again. Riggen’s film is not only a heartwarming family story; she also offers subtle commentary on the much-debated issue of illegal immigration.
I must say that just by watching the movie’s trailer, which ran for months, I was deeply moved by the story. The movie exceeded my expectations, and I experienced a roller-coaster of emotions going from tears to laughter in a couple of frames. Yet, the story has room for strong social and political messages regarding immigration. During the course of the movie we can see how sometimes the “migra” (INS officials) use excessive force to capture undocumented workers in a tomato farm, and how Rosario’s employer, a house-wife from Beverly Hills, mentally abuses her, firing her and then denying her payment of the salary she had earned.
But a line by Enrique encompasses the full message of the movie, and depicts the life of millions of immigrants that come to the U.S.(not an exact quote): “Crees que a uno le gusta trabajar todo el día para medio tragar, vivir escondiendose de la migra..lo hacemos por un sueño” (“Do you think that one enjoys working all day to barely eat, and live hiding from the INS…we do it because we have a dream.”)
And that dream can mean sending $300 dollars back home every month, like Rosario did, which makes a difference for her child between attending school or selling candies in the street, between having a somewhat low-middle class life or living in poverty.
La Misma Luna offers marketers targeting Hispanics in the U.S. a glimpse, and maybe some understanding, of the life and needs of undocumented workers, a segment that represents as many as 12 million people.