Los Angeles Film Festival 2014: Los Ángeles, Lake Los Angeles, and Natural Sciences

Taking on a special resonance by screening in the city that gives the film its name, Los Ángeles follows the flow of migration back to its other endpoint across the border in a Zapotec village in Oaxaca. Writer-director Damian John Harper mostly avoids the sensationalism that can come easy to migration stories without effacing the violence and economic pressure that attend to those journeys. He does this by focusing on the homefront and showing the communities that the migrants leave behind, return to, and support. Out of the cluster of characters we follow, three rise to the fore: Mateo (Mateo Bautista Matías), a teenager making preparations for the trip north, which includes joining a gang; Marcos (Marcos Rodríguez Ruíz), who's made his way back home to settle down after years in the States; and Lidia (Lidia García), who waits for word from her incommunicado son...

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