Jocular and wrenching by turns, this poignant documentary centers on the plight of a young circus performer in Mexico and his brothers as they put their dreams for life on hold to care for their grandmother, América—who at 93 has more life of her own in her than even advanced dementia can repress.
Diego can juggle, walk on stilts, and ride a unicycle—none of which exactly comes in handy when he, Bruno, and Rodriguez must return to their hometown of Colima to care for their frail abuela after their father goes to jail on charges of elder neglect. A gentle soul, Diego sees a bright side in the reunion of the family. But the challenges they face are considerable as they curtail their own freedoms to bathe, dress, and feed an old woman who’s nearly out of communicative reach yet as tenacious in her way—sometimes charmingly, sometimes heartbreakingly—as she can be.
Amid multiplying troubles and frayed nerves, directors Erick Stoll and Chase Whiteside don’t sidestep the hard questions—how long will these young men postpone their futures for América’s sake, and who decides what happens to her? But neither do they press for righteous answers, allowing this complicated but big-hearted family to decide its own fate.
Producer: Erick Stoll, Chase Whiteside | Editor: Erick Stoll, Chase Whiteside | Cinematographer: Erick Stoll
Cast: Diego Alvarez Serrano, Rodrigo Alvarez Serrano, Bruno Alvarez Serrano, Cristina Hernández, América Capdevielle Levas