My favorite documentaries always seem to be the ones about a small aspect of life that illuminates something about our collective and individual heritages. The story of a child whose daily life represents a clash between old attitudes about immigration and new realities in our society. A man’s witty and personal exploration of coming of age in the New South. They are stories about transition, about accommodation and coming to terms with our country’s complex and fascinating mélange of cultures.
I am the child of two immigrant parents. My mother came to Los Angeles in her twenties from a remote, French Canadian farming village and my father’s Mexican family criss-crossed the US-Mexico border seeking opportunity, until finally settling in Los Angeles when Dad was nine. This combination of rural and urban, Mexican and French and living inside and outside the dominant culture, bred in me an observing inquisitiveness and a passion for social justice. I almost went to law school. But in the end, I am too much of a generalist and I discovered that storytelling can be an incredibly effective tool. Independent filmmaking, and the need for wearing half-dozen or more hats, suits my sensibilities and affords me the opportunity to explore.
I have worked on many historical documentaries and I continue to be captivated by history, especially histories that concern my roots. But I am increasingly interested in the contemporary — people and events that encapsulate the nexus of past and future. My next project will likely be another character-driven story, this time about an Angeleno negotiating L.A.’s tortured relationship with it’s newcomers. I am also working with my husband on a photographic journey through the city.
—Mylène Moreno, Director