Sunday, April 6, 2008
"Calavera Highway" (USA 2008, 88 min.) is a new documentary from the Academy Award-nominated director Renee Tajima-Peña.
Renee Tajima-Peña's husband Armando Peña grew up in the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, in a family of seven boys. His father Pedro "disappeared" into Mexico when Armando was a baby. His mother Rosa raised the seven boys alone.
After Rosa died of cancer in Los Angeles, Armando and his brother Carlos carry Rosa's ashes back to South Texas. Along the way, the seven sons of the family recount the family history, rediscover the meaning of masculinity and fatherhood, and reconnect with their late father Pedro when they travel to Mexico, where Pedro was born and laid to rest.
The story is very personal, yet has its universal aspect dealing with family and parenthood. With often poetic visual and the sometimes insightful narrative, the documentary intimately shares this Mexican-American family's odyssey.