La Mission

Writer/Director Peter Bratt (yes, he's Benjamin Bratt's brother) has given the 2009 SIFF audience an insider's view of the San Francisco Mission District. It is a multi-cultural area with a dominant Hispanic population, so we see bus drivers, low-riders, mechanics, and gang-bangers, i.e., a panoply of lifestyles and occupations in a quasi-integrated neighborhood.

Benjamin Bratt ("Miss Congeniality" and LOTS of TV) capably does most of the heavy lifting as a widowed bus driver raising a son who, as it turns out, is gay. Our hero, along with being deeply religious, has quite a history: he is an ex-con who belongs to AA; he still goes out in his restored vintage auto to cruise the streets and show it off; he is open-minded about race and creed, but NOT about homosexuality.

Therein lies our tale...

Actor Benjamin Bratt and his brother director Peter Bratt attended the Festival.

Post Script: The 2009 SIFF evaluation places this film firmly in the plus column.

Post Post Script: A JayFlix participant sent me this lovely review after watching the film. I obtained permission to include it along with mine...I should only be so eloquent!

This spiritual transformation does not take place in The
Castro or any other gentrified affluent neighborhood. This
is the Mission, where tradition is observed, celebrated
and respected.

A rich tapestry of passionate characters surrounding a father
and son who are faced with the conflict between their love for
each other and their community and being true to their hearts.

Every actor in this piece portrays their role with sincerity
and believability. The stand-out player, however, is Benjamin
Bratt, who brings to life the joy, the misery, the fun, the
anger, the elation and the confusion that a father in a
neighborhood like this would experience.

The film touched two other chords for me. It reminded me of
a love-affair I walked away from in my early 20s. It also
brought back the hollow feeling of walking with my graduating
class while searching the stands hoping in vain to see my
mother, who had not attended.

Lastly, allow the beautiful music of this film to carry you
on a rhythmic journey through a vibrant community and a tale
of a brief time within it.