Get ready to ride “low and slow” through La Mission.
La Mission takes place in the Mission District of San Francisco, CA. The story follows Che (Benjamin Bratt) and his son, Jesse. Che discovers Jesse's homosexuality by finding some pictures in his son's room of him and his boyfriend at a gay club in the Castro, and struggles to deal with this part of his life. Che and his neighbor Lena, a young black student, also have a strange relationship that starts off a little hostile, as Che resents Lena for what she represents. Che is a good person, but he has a tempter and he struggles with accepting differences between people and their cultures. Che is a bus driver for MUNI and his real passion is low rider classic cars. He is an artist, a painter, and a restorer of classic automobiles. He is also a proud Latino man, and his family, community, cultural history, and his legacy are very important to him. His traditional values make it hard for him to accept his son, and although he is very proud of Jesse, his homosexuality is more than he can immediately handle. Jesse represents a new generation, one that is less macho and more open and honest, and while he appreciates his culture and his family's history, it isn't very relative to him as he lives his life his way and works towards leaving The Mission for UCLA.
This film is beautiful on multiple levels. The film is full of bright and colorful imagery, and the soundtrack is great. The acting is very good, and on an unparalleled level for Bratt. I definitely recommend La Mission to anyone looking for something moving, or anyone ready to deal with some heavy topics. Get ready to ride “low and slow” through La Mission.
On a side note, while not required, it is recommended that the viewer watch Blood In, Blood Out before watching La Mission- just to see Benjamin Bratt's career go full circle.