In this biopic, a boy from a family of migrant farm workers watches the moon landing in 1969, which ignites his desire to be an astronaut.
It’s a tale of perseverance, community and sacrifice to accomplish a seemingly impossible dream.
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Beautifully shot and interspersed with historical footage of migrant workers and spacecraft launches, the film’s most effective and touching scenes revolve around the family relationships, particularly José’s with his cousin Beto (Bobby Soto), who became a farmworker like his parents.
In one scene, Beto says: “I just think it’s great that I get to be so freaking proud and have no idea what you’re talking about, cousin.”
It’s a line that aptly distills what many upwardly mobile immigrants face. There are moments that show the clashes of the two worlds, and those that show their melding: José’s driving to work blasting a ranchera on the radio; using a corncob as a spaceship; or washing dishes in his astronaut uniform.
These are heartwarming scenes, and it’s hard not to be moved by the enormity of the challenge he undertook and conquered.