June 23, 2000
Elizabeth Luis is marrying Artemio Guerrero, and we are all invited to the wedding. In Hannah Weyer' latest film, La Boda, Elizabeth's family and community offer an intimate portrait of migrant life and traditions as the weeks leading up to the ceremony bring friends and family together. Stable, optimistic, hard-working, and as American as they are Mexican, this community doesn't fit anybody's stereotype of migrant workers.
Elizabeth, the 22 year-old bride-to-be,
has grown up with experiences distinct to migrant life along the
U.S. Mexican border. For her being a migrant has meant sacrificing
education for field work and social life to travel as her family
moves constantly between Texas, California, and Mexico. Crossing
and recrossing the border, the Luis family succeeds at keeping
their roots in Mexico alive while seeking economic opportunity
in the U.S. They are neither poverty-stricken nor foreign, having
become U.S. citizens. But they must contend with the image of
migrant workers as both illegal and alien, as well as the harsh
realities of this transient way of life.
Elizabeth herself is charming, strong-willed, and full of dreams. She is, by turns, mature beyond her years as she reflects on her life as a migrant worker and girlishly naive as she anticipates marriage with Artemio.
"Before I met Elizabeth, for me the word `migrant' was synonymous with `illegal,' `poor,' and `victim,'" says filmmaker Weyer. "It wasn't until I was invited into the Luis family's home and community that I truly began to understand the complex and nuanced culture of migrant life. In La Boda, I wanted to portray all that this community has rather than what they lack. The film is a much a love story as it is a portrait of migrant life and Mexican family traditions."
La Boda airs Tuesday, June 27, 10 p.m. ET on P.O.V., public television's award-winning showcase of independent nonfiction films.