a film by Peter Bratt
2010 | 117 mins | US
›› The Mission - La Mission
a homophobe's journey to reconciliation.
The Mission by Peter Bratt
Official Synopsis:-

Growing up in the Mission district of San Francisco, Che Rivera has always had to be tough to survive. He's a powerful man, respected for his masculinity and his strength, as well as for his hobby building beautiful lowrider cars.

Only reformed inmate Che is set to see his path to redemption tested, when he discovers his only son, Jes, is gay. Initially reacting to Jes' revelation with violence and fear, he is soon forced to choose between his sense of pride, or his love for the only thing that really means anything to him - his son.
The Mission by Peter Bratt
Dave Says:-

In a feature that refreshingly depicts the coming out scenario from a parental perspective, here we find writer and director Peter Bratt vividly detail a father and son bond, that is more than put to the test. Then again, Che Rivera is far from your typical father. An ex con and recovering alcoholic, here is a man heavy into boxing, that is when he's not letting his fists do the talking. It is a role that sibling Benjamin Bratt plays beautifully, relishing in a Jekyll and Hyde like persona; violent one minute, alternately tender and caring the next, all too ashamed of his son's sexuality, but ever proud of his academic achievements.

True, the flipside of this narrative angle results in all too few scenes of the gay loving pair, with Max Rosenak as Jes' too-good-to-be-true partner Jordan seemingly AWOL for most of the middle act. But that said, of the limited scenes between the two, all are critical to the plot, backed as they are by solid work from Jeremy Ray Valdez, who wonderfully captures the heart and soul of a young man torn between his love for his father and that of his boyfriend, with his searching eye movements during the films' climactic scenes, cutting to the core.

Aided by a compelling performance from Erika Alexander as Che's romantic interest, let alone a woman all too knowledgeable of the brutal hands of physical abuse and who alongside Jesse Borrego can be found as one of the compassionate voices of the picture, this is a feature that for all of its pros is somewhat overlong, a consequence of being two films in one, as the warring relationship between a father and son is played out against a community backdrop, with its traditional Aztec influences, Latino culture and "Mission Boyz and Homies," juxtaposed with poignant, if at times clichéd lines, even if it is the silent moments that and as ever, speak more than words. That Bratt delights in taking you on a low ride through San Francisco's famed Mission district, is all but clear. As too, this is not the first Bratt brothers cinematic collaboration and whilst it's far from perfect, Jes' graduation age is questionable for a start, it's nevertheless well played, with many a charming turn and neat touch to be had, including fraternal mirrors and a vibrant soundtrack. That Benjamin Bratt dominates in the role of a homophobe on the road to reconciliation, gives this work its emotional edge and for Che, his new mission in life. "The best friend I got," indeed.

Gay Visibility - overt. 
Nudity - strictly from the waist up. 
Overall - file under ... 3+ stars. 

›› Available to buy from Amazon.com.

›› Available to buy from Amazon.co.uk.
available on DVD as part of the TLA Releasing UK catalogue 23.July.2012 / UK.
principal players: Benjamin Bratt / Che Rivera, Erika Alexander / Lena, Jeremy Ray Valdez / Jes Rivera,
Jesse Borrego / Uncle Rene, Talisa Soto Bratt / Ana and Max Rosenak as Jordan.
with: Kevin Michael Richardson / Dee, Ruben C Gonzalez / Benny, Patrick Shining Elk / Gary,
Rene Quinones / Esteban and Edwin Hayna Brown / Virgil as "The Mission Boyz"
and Alex Hernandez / Smoke, Christopher Borgzinner / Nacho and
Ramon P Ovando / Little Man as "The Mission Homies."
dedicated to the memory of Kristopher Eric Bratt.
official website:
Copyright 2012 David Hall - www.gaycelluloid.com.
archive reference #509
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