Sangre de Mi Sangre

"OK"

Sangre de Mi Sangre Review


Despite the fact that Sangre de mi Sangre was the 2007 Grand Jury Prize winner at Sundance, it failed to make a splash in first-run distribution. (Then again, most of those winners suffer the same fate.) It's too bad for the actors, all of whom give excellent performances and deserve to be seen. Unfortunately, they're hamstrung by a plot that's fatally polluted by improbabilities and third-act coincidences that are sure to make your eyes roll. That's too bad because the movie looks great and has a real gritty city feel. There's no doubt that this one was made in Brooklyn.

We meet Juan (Armando Hernandez) on the run in a Mexican border town. Escaping a gang that wants to do him harm, he leaps over the border wall and instantly finds himself being offered a ride to New York in the back of a semi by a corrupt bunch of border guards. Crammed into the truck with dozens of others, he makes the acquaintance of Pedro (Jorge Adrian Espindola), a young man who is heading north to meet his emigrant father for the first time. All he has is an address in Brooklyn and the information that Papa Diego (Jesus Ochoa) owns a French restaurant. It's a touching story, and Juan is fascinated.

When the truck arrives in Brooklyn, Pedro wakes up and finds that Juan has not only disappeared but has stolen all of Pedro's stuff, including the letter of introduction to his father, which was written by his late mother. Clever. Juan has effectively stolen Pedro's identity. Now the race is on to get to Diego and see what he may have to offer. Juan makes the connection quickly, but he discovers that Diego is only a lowly dishwasher and that he simply doesn't believe that Juan is his son, despite all the evidence that Juan has in his possession.

At the same time, Pedro is broke, cold, and homeless, but he soon teams up with a heroin-addled hooker named Magda (Paola Mendoza) who helps him one minute and steals from him the next. This very unlikely duo works together to hunt down Diego's restaurant using nothing more than pages torn from a phone book. (Reminder: there are 20,000 restaurants in New York.) To make money, Pedro agrees to act as a sort of pimp for Magda's parking lot tricks.

Over time, Juan is able to ingratiate himself to the hard-as-nails Diego and even gets inside his apartment, where he frantically looks for Diego's rumored gigantic stash of cash. Miserable Diego even starts to warm up to the idea that maybe Juan really is his son. Eventually, of course, all the characters will have to collide for a final reckoning, but that moment strains credulity to the breaking point and sabotages the entire enterprise. It's too bad, but all the performances are strong and worth your attention. One simply wishes writer/director Christopher Zalla had taken one last pass through the script to cross out anything that simply didn't feel as real as the streets he was shooting on.

Aka Padre Nuestro, Blood of My Blood.

Chain of my chain.



Sangre de Mi Sangre

Facts and Figures

Run time: 110 mins

In Theaters: Friday 5th October 2007

Distributed by: IFC Films

Production compaines: Cinergi Pictures Entertainment, Panamax Films

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 76%
Fresh: 29 Rotten: 9

IMDB: 6.7 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Christopher Zalla

Producer: Benjamin Odell, Per Melita

Starring: Jesús Ochoa as Diego, Armando Hernández as Juan, Jorge Adrián Espíndola as Pedro, Paola Mendoza as Magda, Leonardo Anzures as Simon, Scott Glascock as John, Israel Hernández as Ricardo, Lenny Ligotti as Police Officer #1, Don Puglisi as Jimmy, Teresa Yenque as Senora, as Anibal, Jessica Kelly as Pig-Tails, Sean Andrew as Police Officer #2

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