Mi Vida Loca

"Mothers. Warriors. Sisters. Survivors."
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Mi Vida Loca is a realistic look at Hispanic gang culture of 1990s Echo Park, with a focus on the young women of the neighborhood. At the center of the film are Sad Girl and Mousie, best friends since childhood who join the local gang. Mousie has a baby with neighborhood gangster Ernesto, who she loves deeply, but motherhood proves difficult for her. She becomes distant from both Ernesto and Sad Girl, who cope with this distance by becoming closer to each other. This closeness leads to Sad Girl becoming pregnant. Ernesto turns to dealing drugs in order to support both women, and to pursue the hobby he is most passionate about: working on his low rider, which he hides from both of them.

With this triangle at its center, Mi Vida Loca explores a variety of characters linked to Mousie, Sad Girl and Ernesto, as the film switches perspective and focus to provide a full picture of the neighborhood, especially focusing on the young women of Echo Park. Sad Girl’s sister, La Blue Eyes, chooses college rather than joining the gang. But, she becomes enamored with a prison inmate after reading one of his poems, and she abandons her studies to pursue an amorous correspondence with him. Whisper learns drug-dealing from Ernesto, and considers striking out on her own as a dealer. Giggles, in contrast, seeks to distance herself from such activities after serving time for four years for a crime her boyfriend committed.

When released, Mi Vida Loca was lauded for its vivid and realistic portrayal of gang culture, and its focus on women. Adding to the realism of the film is the fact that a number of the actors were actually gang members from Echo Park. Though the actors as a whole were unknown, well-known directors and musicians have small roles in the film, including Spike Jonze and members of Los Lobos.

| 1993 | 1 hr 32 min | 6.5/10
Angel Aviles, Seidy Lopez, Jacob Vargas, Devine
Allison Anders
Mi Vida Loca
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