Fireworks, as the allegory of being loud, visible and radiant, is what the film explores Luciela, who portrays the journey of a girl whose migrant father is deported.
The 10-minute short film is part of PBS Short Film Festival 2021 and went Directed by Erin Ploss-Campoamor.
The story came to the director on a trip to Los Angeles, specifically the neighborhood Lincoln Heights, where he saw the fireworks on the 4th of July.
The luminosity and the power of the pyrotechnics inspired her to develop this story: Luciela, is a 6-year-old girl, who lives in Los Angeles and her favorite holiday is Independence Day, however, everything looks stained when her father is deported to Mexico.
“There was a year when I went to see the fireworks at Lincoln Heights, which is a predominantly Latino and migrant neighborhood. I found it heartwarming to see so many in this particular neighborhood.
It was when Trump had just been elected and it felt like a scary moment for the community in particular, xenophobia was on the rise, “says the director.
Erin remembers that it seemed very audacious to light so much pyrotechnics and for it to take over the sky.
“I was watching that and it seemed very cinematic, spectacular and I felt the need to make a film about it and document its beauty,” he adds.
Interview: Movie Luciela portrays a girl whose father is deported to Mexico
- Do you feel that the short is still relevant right now?
Erin: People are still being deported. There are still many family separations and if you mix that with the pandemic, people have experienced losses related to it. Families being separated, people sick or dying. I feel like the film explores losing your loved ones.
- Being Luciela’s director, what aspects of the main person do you identify with?
Erin: I grew up with a migrant father, my stepfather, since he was a baby, he is a Cuban migrant and I can relate to the story to some extent, but I relate more to it in terms of being fierce, independent and wanting to express myself.
- Why should people see this movie?
Erin: I invite people to watch this film, which is a film about resilience, fun and the migrant experience.
Luciela, which tells the story of a girl whose father is deported, is now available on the official site of the PBS Short Film Festival and will remain for the public until July 23. Click here to see the short film.