The 1995 film Mi Familia (My Family), was one of the first and most positive representations of real Mexican-American life. Director, Gregory Nava, created such a true to life chronicle of the Mexican-American experience through three generations (1920's, 1950's, and 1980's). I still remember the pride that I felt when this film was released to theatres. I remember speaking to my family and friends about it. All of us agreed that it had been a long time coming, when we Americanos would be well represented on the Big Screen. While in the past, many Latinos appeared in motion pictures of various types, most of the roles where negative and stereotypical.
Along with the unusually realistic depiction of a Mexican-American family, came a connection that most of the 26,921,000 Hispanics , living in the US at the time of release, could have easily made. I know my husband, a first-generation Mexican-American, made a special link with this film and the Sanchez family. The movie was filled with so much of the Mexican-American family reality that it was almost scary how much of ourselves and our families we found in this film.
I strongly feel that life is all about "Nuestra Familia.” It is about tradition. "Familia” breeds cultural ethics and traditions shared by all of the "barrios” in the United States. The Mexican-American family is strong, it will hold together through adversity, poverty, illness, separation and death. This film was a perfect interpretation of all of these importances.