This review of the Disney+ documentary film Mija contains no spoilers.
READ: Everything we know about Mija.
Mija tells the moving and complex stories of Doris Muñoz and Jacks Haupt, the daughters of undocumented immigrants from Mexico, navigating their careers in the music industry. Mija is Mexican-American filmmaker Isabel Castro’s feature debut and premiered to rave reviews at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Like a lot of success stories, there’s this dark cloud of pressure in the background, which is the driving force, and these are the stories that audiences remember and appreciate. We love to see the little person become great, we love to see the success of those who have to strive and work for it. Passion and talent sometimes don’t go that far, and here they do it not only for themselves, but for their families.
The reality is that Doris’ parents risked everything, left everything to come to the United States to give their children a better life, and then the children spend their lives honoring that sacrifice – a huge emotional burden to give and bear. . What makes this documentary film so powerful and tragic is that although the main focus is Doris, both musicians/artists share the ever-present guilt of being the first American-born members of their undocumented families, and they struggle to find out who they are and who they want to be with multiple identities merging. This documentary shares their stories, their struggles, the good times and the bad, along their journey to success in the music industry.
I loved that Doris’ love of music was born out of her desire to connect with her Mexican culture, because music is something that brings people together. While this documentary has aspects of hope and triumph, there are hard-hitting realities, like growing up with constant fear that your family will be deported, being hyper-aware that you’re the only one with papers, and then his brother being deported and the family living with “survivor’s guilt”. Topics that many of us can’t even imagine.
The shooting style is a mix of on the fly shooting and home video style. It’s extremely well-edited, and Doris’ narration/voiceover is dark and helps guide us through her journey. We get personal and vulnerable interviews, special family moments, old home videos and see them making music behind the scenes.
This documentary gives a real and authentic insight into the world and life of what it’s like to be an immigrant to the United States and what it’s like to be a legal member of your immigrant family . The fears, the restlessness, but also the passion, the love and the desire to stay in the United States. There is also the theme of the arts – how the arts can be a dream, but also a viable career and how people/parents should take this seriously. The ending made me cry, but tears of joy and sadness. A story so emotionally charged, probably without realizing it. Lasting one hour and twenty-five minutes, this documentary film is one you should add to your list.
What did you think of Mija? Comments below.
You can watch this movie with a Disney+ subscription.
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