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Oaxacalifornia: The Return`
Oaxacalifornia: The Return

Oaxacalifornia: The Return (Oaxacalifornia: El regreso), the fifth feature film by acclaimed English-born Mexican director Trisha Ziff (The Mexican Suitcase, The Man Who Saw Too Much), will have its U.S. premiere at the 2021 edition of the New York Latino Film Festival, taking place September 14 to 19. Additionally, the film will also be screening at the Milwaukee Film “Cinema Without Borders” series, the AFI Latin American Film Festival in Washington D.C., and the Portland Latino Film Festival.

An intimate portrait of three generations of a Mexican-American family in California, Oaxacalifornia: The Return revisits the Mejía family twenty-five years after they were first portrayed negotiating their place in a new environment, digging deep into the complexities of multigenerational immigrant identities and the nuances of both belonging and otherness to become a moving epic about the fabric of this nation.

In 1994, director Ziff produced Oaxacalifornia, her first documentary about the Mejía family as they navigated their new reality as recently arrived immigrants to the United States. Picking up where the original film left off, we meet the third generation of Mejías, now second-generation American teenagers, as they navigate what it means to be both Mexican and American in this country.

Shot on both sides of the border, Oaxacalifornia: The Return compellingly illustrates the ways in which multigenerational identities shift and take on new meanings within a single family to allow its members to seamlessly adapt to a bicultural reality. Challenging older narratives that defined the migrant experience of those like the Mejía grandparents as one stuck between two worlds, or being ni de aquí ni de allá (neither here nor there), the grandchildren explore and reclaim their identities as being both de aquí y de allá (from here and there).

Chronicling three generations of one American family, Oaxacalifornia: The Return reminds us of the nuances of both belonging and otherness that make up the fabric of this nation and crescendos to become a moving epic of everyday life for the modern age.

Watch the first trailer for Oaxacalifornia: The Return

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