Roma

Roma ★★★★½

Roma is one of the most relaxing experiences I've had in the cinema since watching Paterson. This isn't to say there's no hardship or trauma within its text, but that it is a story of authenticity and recognition. It is a reminder that life can exist in many forms: love, betrayal, joy, sadness, etc and is about moments not events.

I'm sure any Mexican person can relate to the story within this film, perhaps not directly, but it truly is the story of our parents and/or grandparents. It perfectly depicts the struggle and hardwork that has been ingrained in us our whole lives. The attitude that you find beauty in the moments you get to have for yourself and often times needing to internalize your pain just to survive. It shows the resilience especially of Mexican women battling through our culture of machismo. The long sweeping shots display the color and class disparity within Mexico that still exists today especially through colorism.

I could write a whole essay on how my grandmother left Mexico for America as a single mother, needing to leave one of her children behind. How upon getting pregnant again in America another man left her -- that was 1971, the same year Cleo gave birth and the same year my grandmother had my mom. I could write about my grandma's time as a caretaker of a family and her desire to fit into one of her own. I've heard stories of my mom and her siblings fighting and throwing objects that could have killed each other without proper intervention by any adult. Or my grandmother smacking my mom for the smallest of things.

Roma perfectly depicts all these subtleties of Mexican culture through the good and the bad -- even coming from a Chicano perspective myself. I'm not sure what people disconnected from being Mexican can feel for this film as for me it's like watching the memories of my grandma and mom come to life on the screen.

My grandma once said that it felt like "being a bird without wings" to come to America and looking for a place to belong. I'm so thankful she took that flight.

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