Under The Same Moon Patricia Riggen

Under The Same Moon Patricia Riggen
A mother gets up before the sun rises on Los Angeles to get to the first of her two jobs. Elsewhere, in Mexico, her nine-year-old son sleeps soundly in his bed. Before she left him over four years prior, she told him that should he ever find himself missing her that he need only look up to moon and know that she too would be looking and thinking of him. In that, both the title and the dualistic tone are set for a surprisingly poignant piece about the borders that keep both countries and people apart. While the main focus surrounds precocious Carlito (Adrian Alonso) as he crosses the border to find his mother after a family death leaves him alone, his journey draws attention to the plight of people who want only to pursue a better future for their families. What I found most striking about this small gem was its American reception. The film opened to the highest box office numbers of any Spanish language feature in history. It may not have gone on to great heights but there was clearly a need to tell this story. The DVD special features — a "making of” and a piece on a mural that was mounted in East L.A. to commemorate the film — are minimal but further highlight the tenderness and passion that went into the project. Under The Same Moon gives a voice to those who are so seldom heard in a fashion that will allow it to be heard by many. And for all the tears and warmth it brings to the viewer, perhaps its crowning achievement is that all who see it will inevitably find themselves staring up at the night sky shortly afterward, realising that we all live under that very same moon no matter how many lines are drawn between us. (Fox Searchlight)