Sponsored Project

Return to Oaxacalifornia

Trisha Ziff
Andrew Houchens, Isabel del Río

Oaxacalifornia; the return, tells the story of the Mejia family from Oaxaca who emigrated to the U.S. 40 years ago as an economic necessity, fleeing drought and economic hardship. A post-NAFTA tale, a sequel of sorts: our film brings together material shot 24 years ago for the original film, Oaxacalifornia, with material we are producing today. We meet the family in Fresno, C.A. and discover the changes in their lives. The new generation, seven grandchildren only know life in the U.S. and speak no Spanish. Mexico for them belongs in stories, photographs, traditions, food movies and their imagination. In our first film Leo and Mercedes, now grandparents spoke of retiring to Oaxaca but have spent most of their lives in the U.S. The continuum of our film provides a unique insight into the process of assimilation, what remains important and what is lost. Three generations, three ways of seeing. They visit Mexico together, is it how they imagined? Does it resonate as ‘home’ or simply a vacation?

A film about family: identity, assimilation, contradictions, aspirations and the passage of time.

Sponsored Project Donation