Pelicula Spotlight: America

by Rob Perez

If you’re seeking a dramatic story featuring a celebration of familia and courage, then the intensely flick, America, a highlight from this year’s New York International Latino Film Festival, is for you. America tells the story of a young Puerto Rican woman (Lymari Nadal) who must leave her abusive husband, along with everything else that she loves.

Starting over in her new life in New York, America feels she has escaped her pain-only for the time being. As a nanny for an upper class couple, America is welcomed with open arms and feels right at home. Even in faraway suburbia, America forms a bond with the couple’s children and develops friendships with fellow Latina nannies. However, America’s husband Correa (Yancey Arias) is determined to find America and bring her back. While she’s reluctant at first to leave behind her native Puerto Rico, America now sees a future in New York and sets her sights on bringing her daughter to the mainland. Is she successful? The ending may surprise you.

As a film, America doesn’t sugarcoat a painful reality that exists in many relationships among Latinos. At the same time, it successfully shows how a woman can single handily find strength within herself to overcome any struggles that comes her way. In New York America matters to people, but in Puerto Rico, she will forever be subservient to Correa. Through healing, both physically and mentally, America is finally able to be free from her marital chains and embrace a new life. Not many women in abusive relationships have the opportunity or even the option to escape from their hardships. Fortunately, this movie serves to inspire and give hope that there is light if one is willing to take a chance and move towards it.

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