Spanish classes went to a film festival to watch an independent, coming-of-age film on April 26.
As part of the San Francisco Film Society’s Schools at the Festival educational outreach program, students watched a movie related to their curriculum at a reduced cost of $1, though regularly priced tickets are $14, according to Spanish teacher Carole Cadoppi. The film society’s sponsors subsidized the cost of tickets. Students from her Spanish 6 and 6 Honors classes went to watch Mosquita y Mari, a story of two Chicana (female Mexican-American) teens, Yolanda and Mari, who develop a deep friendship and even explore romance with each other.
Students found the film very different from mainstream productions that come out of Hollywood. “Compared to other big movies that focus on action, the movie showed a lot of close-ups on the girls’ faces,” junior Michelle Chang said. “Also, instead of having the girls talk, their relationship was shown more through their actions.”
This film was unique also because it focused on the lives of Chicanas, which is an uncommon topic in multiplex movies. “This film would be interesting for people who don’t live in an area like the Mission to see how other people live,” junior Christopher Yee said. “Unlike this film, I think mainstream movies typically don’t show the reality of poverty.”
After the screening of the film, director Aurora Guerrero held a Q&A session with the audience. She talked about her inspiration for the film and tales about making the movie. Her inspiration was her own life as a teen living in the Mission District of San Francisco, according to Yee. Initially, she wanted to film in the Mission but could not because she didn’t have enough money for expenses such as a filming permit. Instead, she filmed in the similar Huntington Park neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles.
Response to the film was generally positive, but students had mixed feelings about the ending. “The conflict was resolving at the end, but the director just chose to end it with the two girls standing across the street from each other,” Yee said. “It was a bit too abrupt for me.”
On the other hand, Chang said, “I like how it was open-ended because you can think about what happens next.”