Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022
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Coming of age films with Mexican heritage

Coming+of+age+films+with+Mexican+heritage
Breyona Mitchell

The journey from adolescence to adulthood serves as one of the most complex and challenging periods of one’s life. For many, looking to media representations of stories that reflect their lives and experiences helps make these transitions feel less alienating. With a rich history and cultural background, Hollywood looks to Mexican American storytellers to share their stories about growing up and coming of age. Many of these films have become hugely popular with American audiences and have led to an increase in diverse stories from the Latin American community. The Daily Texan comprised a list of compelling stories driven by Mexican or Mexican American characters. 

Coco

Released in 2017, “Coco” became a blockbuster of a movie that reflected heavily on the Mexican tradition known as Día De Los Muertos, the celebration and reflection of family members who have passed away. In a somber tale of heroism and the importance of music, “Coco” showcases the important traditions of Mexican culture. Because of “Coco”’s ability to transcend generational divides, it acts as the perfect movie to watch with family, friends or even alone. 


Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe

Based on the book of the same name, “Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe” gained critical acclaim for its representation of LGBTQ+ Mexican American youth, pushing back against harmful displays of masculinity like machismo. The film premiered at Toronto Film Festival in September 2022 and became a positive example of LGBTQ+ media representation for Chicanx characters who Hollywood writes out of these narratives. 

Real Women Have Curves 

In America Ferrera’s breakout role as Ana García, “Real Women Have Curves” tells the story of society’s imposition of body image issues on young women and the importance of loving oneself and the body they inhabit. While it didn’t receive the same recognition as other coming-of-age films based on women, the film documents the life of a first-generation American on her journey to self-acceptance and combating body stereotypes. 

Quinceañera

Released in 2006 at Sundance Film Festival, “Quinceañera” tells the coming-of-age tale of a gay couple that moves into a gentrified neighborhood of Echo Park, Los Angeles. The couple cast, wrote and directed the film and incorporated real-life members of the Echo Park community. Encompassed by the story of a 15-year-old girl and her upcoming Quinceañera, it also follows other members of her family, specifically her cousin, who tries to figure out how to plan a Quinceañera while dealing with other issues that plague their family. 

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About the Contributor
Breyona Mitchell, Associate Comics Editor
Breyona is a sophomore english and studio art double major from Houston, Texas. Currently, they work as the associate comics editor and has previously drawn for the paper as a senior artist. They love playing video games with their friends.