Arts and Entertainment

Putting a human face on immigration issues Movie review: ‘La Misma Luna’

I recently saw a wonderful film in Seattle and am thrilled that it will soon be shown at the North Bend Theatre.

This movie is called “La Misma Luna,” or “Under the Same Moon,” and it puts human faces that you can’t help but love on the problems of immigration.

Adrian Alonso is absolutely adorable as the star. He plays nine-year-old Carlitos with the perfect balance of childhood charm, big-hearted spirit and wisdom beyond his years. But Alonso never lets you forget that he’s a little boy.

Every Sunday at 10 a.m. sharp, Carlitos excitedly waits for the pay phone to ring. It’s the lifeline that connects him, living in Mexico, with his mother, Rosario, who works in East Los Angeles and sends the family $300 each month. He hasn’t seen her for four years.

Fortunately, Carlitos lives in a vibrant Mexican village with a loving grandmother who refuses to put the young boy into harm’s way, despite his pleas to let a novice (America Ferrera of “Ugly Betty”) smuggle him across the border. The death of his grandmother changes everything.

With a handful of savings and a return address ripped off a letter from his mother, Carlitos sets off to find her. Tense moments alternate with funny incidents. The humor really kicks in when the boy’s seemingly impossible journey to the L.A. barrios becomes a buddy movie. A surly migrant loner, Enrique, reluctantly travels with the optimistic Carlitos.

The Grammy-winning band, Los Tigres del Norte, appear in one scene, telling a courageous story through song. Even when Carlitos seems most lost, nothing is more satisfying than the moment when the precocious little boy and his devoted mother are under the same moon, in the same place.

Don’t miss this wonderful film.

“La Misma Luna” shows May 2 to May 9 at the North Bend Theatre. Showtimes are 5 p.m. Friday through Sunday, 7 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday. Tickets are $5. Rating: PG-13 for some mature thematic elements. In English and Spanish with English subtitles.

• Vi Walker is a 23-year North Bend resident who works in Seattle and volunteers as a teacher for Hopelink.

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