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El Pocho

by Lalo Gonzalez; Lucha Villa; Julio Aldama; Raza Films.; Million Dollar Video Corporation.;

  VHS video : VHS tape   Visual material

3 of 3 people found this review helpful.
El Pocho, duality of being   (2013-04-14)

Very Good

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by ElGuero

It was a typical Lalo Gonzalez performance with comedy and seriousness wrapped together.

The film, set in the late 60's or early 70's, is chock full of visual and situational representations of the duality of being derived from two cultures but not belonging to either one.

The dualities include the suggestion of speaking Spanglish (at the beginning with the burrito scene) in a mostly Mexican Spanish film, being referred to as "Latin" by his adoring white girlfriend in America and rejected as "Pocho" by mestiza Lucha Villa in Mexico (Pocho is a Mexican pejorative which might be close to calling him a "coconut" or "wanna be white" in English, basically a traitorous son of Mother Mexico who denies his heritage by being Americanized), the part at the end where the white girlfriend pulls him to America while his Mexican friend pushes him to Mexico - whereupon he places half of his being on each side of the border and declares that this is where he was born, right in the middle.

There is also the barracks scene about the white boys and the brown kids arguing and fighting about who was here first, then an Indian throws a knife to stick in the floor planks and declares that he was here first.

This is a great while dated flick, which - if taken with an open mind - shows much of the state of in between many have been and are in, one foot in each of two countries and belonging to neither one. However, a white bigot wouldn't watch it in the first place, and a brown bigot would cherry pick and run with the parts that appeal to his own obsession with race.

There is, or was, a lot of truth to the film - some of which would be emphasized by peddlers of victimization theory and ethnic nationalism in America, other parts, such as El Pocho's general cultural rejection by Mexican nationals, will be downplayed or redirected by those very same people.

Racism and prejudice is an "equal opportunity disease", it matters not the skin tone of the practitioner, nor of which side of the border one originates, and it is often practiced between members of the same racial group.

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