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My Family

My Family

5.0 12
Director: Gregory Nava

Cast: Enrique J. Castillo, Jennifer Lopez, Jimmy Smits


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Featuring Jennifer Lopez in her first major big-screen role, Gregory Nava's My Family traces three generations of the Sanchez's, a Mexican-American family living in East Los Angeles. Beginning in the 1930s, the film outlines the struggles faced by Jose (Jacob Vargas) and Maria (Lopez) as a recently immigrated married couple raising a family. As Jose and Maria


Featuring Jennifer Lopez in her first major big-screen role, Gregory Nava's My Family traces three generations of the Sanchez's, a Mexican-American family living in East Los Angeles. Beginning in the 1930s, the film outlines the struggles faced by Jose (Jacob Vargas) and Maria (Lopez) as a recently immigrated married couple raising a family. As Jose and Maria age, the focus shifts to their son, Jimmy (Jimmy Smits), as he starts his own family in the 1960s. While Lopez' role was uncredited, she was nominated for an Independent Spirit Award for her performance. My Family has also been released under the titles My Family, Mi Familia, Cafe Con Leche, and East L.A.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Michael Costello
Gregory Nava's sprawling multi-generational saga of 60 years in the life of a Mexican family living in the U.S. is a tumultuous, funny, and moving experience. As the film traces the Sanchez family's history from the arrival of patriarch José Eduardo Lopez Rojas in Los Angeles through the gang wars and Salvadoran death squads of the 1980s, Nava focuses on the constant struggle of the immigrants to be accepted in their new country while retaining a pride in their ethnic identity. Although the film is at times sentimental with a plot that verges on soap opera, it's impossible not to be swept up in the lives of characters that are written and played with such passion and complexity. Dwelling on the divergent character types within José's family unit, from the hotheaded Chuco (Esai Morales) to the tortured Jimmy (Jimmy Smits) to the calmer Paco (Edward James Olmos), a writer who functions as the film's narrator, Nava rings plangent changes on a universally familiar theme. The film is also blessed by the plenary talents of cinematographer Ed Lachman (The Limey [1999], Erin Brockovich [2000]), whose lyrical use of light is one of its great pleasures.

Product Details

Release Date:
Original Release:
New Line Home Video

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Enrique J. Castillo Memo Sanchez
Jennifer Lopez Young Maria (uncredited)
Jimmy Smits Jimmy Sanchez
Edward James Olmos Paco, the Narrator
Esai Morales Chucho
Eduardo Lopez Rojas Jose Sanchez
Elpidia Carrillo Isabel Magana
Jenny Gago Maria Sanchez
Jacob Vargas Young Jose Sanchez
Amelia Zapata Roberto's Girlfriend
Abel Woolrich Ox Cart Driver
Leon Singer El Californio
Rosalee Mayeux Maria's Employer
Alicia del Lago Maria's Aunt
Thomas Rosales The Boatman
Susana Campos Little Irene
Constance Marie Toni Sanchez
Maria Canals Young Irene Sanchez
Jonathan Hernandez Young Jimmy
Samuel Hernandez Mariachi
Michael de Lorenzo Butch Mejia
Valente Rodriguez Chucho's Friend
Ernie Lively Sergeant
Peter Mark Vasquez Prison Guard
Scott Bakula David Ronconi
Lupe Ontiveros Irene Sanchez
Ruben Sierra Gerardo
Mary Steenburgen Gloria
Willie C. Carpenter I.N.S. Guard
Delana Michaels Judge
Valerie Wildman Sunny, Gloria's Friend
Michael Tomlinson Dr. McNally
Saachiko Nurse
Angelina Estrada Woman with Groceries
DeDee Pfeiffer Karen Gillespie
Bibi Besch Mrs. Gillespie
Bruce Gray Mr. Gillespie
Rafael Cortes Roberto

Technical Credits
Gregory Nava Director,Screenwriter
Pepe Avila Score Composer
Francis Ford Coppola Executive Producer
Guy East Executive Producer
Laura Greenlee Producer
Janet Hirshenson Casting
Jane Jenkins Casting
Edward Lachman Cinematographer
Lidsay Law Executive Producer
Tom Luddy Executive Producer
Mark McKenzie Score Composer
Roger Mussenden Casting
Nancy Richardson Editor
Barry Robison Production Designer
Mark Sanchez Makeup
Nancy De los Santos Associate Producer
Suzette Sheets Set Decoration/Design
Anna Thomas Producer,Screenwriter
Tracy Tynan Costumes/Costume Designer


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My Family 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I watched this movie for my History class, and althought I thought it would be very boring, I was quite wrong! The movie starts with a rather funny introdution, then here come the breath-taking scenes of suspense and sadness. The movie has such a strong capacity of making the viewer feel the feelings the director is trying to show, it really pulls you into the story, and makes you feel like one of the characters. Honestly, this is a movie everyone should see, not only because it's rich in culture, but also because it's realistic, and it teaches us a bit about Mexican culture, Immigrants and their reasons to immigrate to another country, struglings of a typical Mexican family, and morals.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I watched this movie in a Hispanic Film class at the University of Washington. It was such a powerful experience that I minored in Hispanic Studies, completed a study abroad in Mexico and now tutor Mexican immigrants in English. Mexico and Mexicans have been there from before the U.S was a superpower. This movie gives a peek into how much it has cost them to be our neighbor (the U.S.). It's good to know, North America!! Remember, we took half their national territory BEFORE the gold rush made so many of us rich! BUT this movie is not only about A Mexican family. It's a great story that speaks to all families. You will see your family in this movie and feel the wonderful, complex, crazy dynamics that make up families all over the world. Don't all families have a Jimmy, a Guierrmo (who calls himself Bill), an Irene - or a crazy sister Toni?
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of my favorite movies. It's a great story with fantastic acting. Jimmy Smits trying to reconcile with his son is still one of the most moving scenes in movies.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I had to watch this movie for a school assaignment for my Spanish class. When I rented it I thought it would be a boring move but from the moment it starts, it brings you into another world. You go through every emotion in this movie. I laughed and cried. There is a little something in it for everyone; Life, Death, Humor, Violence and a wedding. Everyone needs to watch this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I am taking a college class, History of Mexican Americans, and this was recommended viewing. What a wonderful and inspiring look at the lives of one family and its journey through the generations. It will be required viewing in my own home for my daughters to watch so that they can further appreciate their own Mexican-American history.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beware of marrying someone just so they can get their green card. Family is the most important thing. These are just some of the lessons that the imigrant family learns in this movie. You'll laugh, and unless you're Ebeneezer Scrooge, you'll cry!
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I first saw My Family, I have to admit that i cried several times throughout the movie. The Sanchez family protrayed in this movie is so realistic to that of most hispanic families. In where our hispanic and American cultures bond inside our homes. The way that this family saga is told, gives it that special touch. I just love this movie.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Beautiful film documenting the Mexican-American family experience. A historical film. Please produce it in DVD.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I have been looking to purchase this movie for years. Olmos, Smits & Conchita Alonzo are convincing and heartfelt in their portrayal of the Latino immigrant struggle in the US. You do not have to be Mexican to identify with and really feel what this family goes through throughout the generations. I highly recomend it!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This movie was great. It is not very often that you see many movies with hispanics in it. I liked the way it shows different generations and what they all went through in time. How family has ups and downs but no matter what family is important and having a strong family is something everyone needs.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is one of the most beautiful films I have ever seen. It succeeds in capturing the fullness and complexity of chicano and Mexican-American heritage. Sometimes joyful, often tragic, My Family Mi Familia retells the story of a family blessed by a world of opportunity and scarred by a world of racism.