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Almost a Woman

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Almost a Woman
updated 11.27.2006

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I really appreciated this film. It brought back so many memories from my childhood. I could clearly connect to Esmeralda and the way she felt about herself as she tried to fit into a world completely different from her own.

Keila Merino
New York, NY

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Almost a Woman tells the story of a family that is not only Puerto Rican but also has dreams of not being overcome by a lack of financial resources. The mother is the epitome of strength, and the daughter is even stronger; she sees the American dream. As an African-American, I feel this story captures some of the struggles of minorities as they work to fit into society and live the American dream.

C. Whitfield
Chicago, IL

Many viewers have asked for the words to the poem Esmeralda recites in Almost a Woman. Here's the text, directly from the script:

¡Ay! Que largo es el camino
Yo tenía la convicción de estar
siempre en lo correcto en este
mundo imperfecto hecho una
desolación pero que equivocación
y que inmenso desatino en mis
luchas inquietantes con tantos

Oh, how long is the road I travel
I had the conviction
that I was always right
in the imperfect world
so desolate
But how mistaken I was
and how confused
Today as I face my destiny
in my unsettling struggles
the questions are so many.

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I wanted to comment on and thank PBS for the production of Almost a Woman. I especially enjoyed the fact that the language was not changed to cater to English-speaking viewers. As a first-generation Puerto Rican born on the mainland, I could not only see glimpses of my own life, but also see my parents' struggle in this country. Though we are considered Americans we are worlds apart from the Anglos here on the mainland. While Negi's contact with many Anglos was portrayed as positive, I know that it is not always so. While I am aware this was one author's story, there are so many other stories to be told about my people and our triumph over the obstacles that face us each day. I hope to see more intelligent programming about Puerto Ricans, the forgotten Latinos!

Cecilia Nunez

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
My name is Alex, and I was an extra in Almost A Woman. I just saw the finished product of the movie, and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. On the set, the actors and the production staff were really outgoing and friendly, and for some reason, I saw that in the movie. The actors seem really comfortable with one another, and the different takes contribute to the film. I wasn't really allowed to talk to the main actor, the young woman who played the character of Esmeralda Santiago, but I would like to congratulate her on a job well done. She seemed quiet and shy at times with people on the set, but in the movie she's completely different. Her acting is amazing; she seems really comfortable with the camera. I want to tell her here, in the Forum, since I couldn't approach her on set, that she did a superb job and that I wish her well in the future. Also, I would like to thank Fernando, the guy in charge of extra casting, for allowing me to work for ALT Films!

Alex Bonilla
Huntington Park, CA

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Almost a Woman viewed like a dream, like a memory. A lyrical, poignant, charming, beautiful, intelligent film. It made my heart ache.

Risa Mickenberg
New York, NY

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I so enjoyed the presentation of Almost a Woman. It reminded me of growing up in NYC during the '50s. At that time there was a large emigration of Puerto Ricans to NY and I learned to love their culture. I hope this will be a series in the future.

Charlene Keitt
Atlanta, GA

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
Almost a Woman has brought me so many memories from my island. I'm Boriqua. My parents were born and raised in Puerto Rico. My father is from Corozal; my mother from San German. I remember growing up there as a little girl, how hard it was for my brother and me to adjust to Chicago, and the struggle we went through. But it paid off and today I am an accountant with three beautiful kids. I've been married for nine years. This movie brought tears to my eyes because it reflected my life. This movie is -- and will always be -- in my heart. I'm also looking forward to reading the book. Thank you.

Yolanda Garcia
Naples, FL

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I expect much more from PBS than to practice what is the most effective advertising for cigarette smoking in the media today: TV and movie characters smoking. From now on, I shall refuse to watch any TV program where there is smoking, and I invite others who are similarly concerned and disgusted to join me. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to stop this stupid and growing practice of showing people puffing away. It's gotten so blatant, the tobacco companies must be thrilled.

Mary Carew
Washington, DC

Dear Masterpiece Theatre,
I think Almost a Woman was the best movie I have ever seen showing the typical Latina lifestyle of that time. Growing up in Spanish Harlem in the late 1970s was a little different, but the movie is about the time when my mother was growing up with my grandmother in Spanish Harlem. There should be more movies like this for the Spanish community.

Debbie Alicea-Perez
Bay Shore, NY

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