Family, a word comprised of parents, brother and sisters. A place where you belong and fit in, where you feel most at ease, where you can just be you with no consequences, no malice, you are accepted for you. For some individuals, this is family, but for some, like the family in “La Mission”, a film by Peter Bratt, family is conditional so long as you abide by cultures strict rules. The film tells the story of Che Rivera, a single dad who is an ex-convict and a recovering alcoholic turned city bus driver who tries to do right by his teenage son, Jess, who is an extremely smart kid who plans on attending UCLA and spends all his time studying rather than rolling with the wrong crowd. Che is a tough guy, who is prone to violent behaviors and…show more content… Despite the location though, it seems as if this neighborhood stands in its own little world, a world that is not as accepting of Jess’s sexual orientation as the rest of the city would be. While “La Mission’s” main focus is on the relationship between father and son, it also tackles subjects such as fear and anxiety in society towards LGTBQ, acceptance within cultures, and finally gender and race equality.
We first see signs of homophobia from Che, the fear is present in his eyes when he shuffles through the pictures on Jess’s desk. A cold sweat sweeps across his forehead. According to an online journal by David Foster, “Bratt centers on the conflict centered on the father 's homophobia (a conflict which, it must be said, is played out with total frankness, honesty, and psychological accuracy)” (Foster). Che is a character wrought with inner turmoil. He is torn between loving his son for who he is, and the fear that the idea of loving him for who he is brings him. He is a man brought up on cultural beliefs and driven by his religion, as well as a lady’s man. We as the viewer can see this toughness throughout the movie, one instance being when Jess comes home and they eat dinner together, tears in Jess’s eyes as he begs his father to understand him, Che says that “god created man and woman for a reason, so which one are you?”, to which Jess replies, “I’m your son”. Che gets up and tries to walk away, essentially