David Riker’s La Ciudad (1998) belongs among the best films about undocumented immigrants. With The Girl, Riker turns to inhospitable norteamericanos. A screw-up who has lost custody of her son and inhabits a squalid trailer, blonde, blue-eyed Ashley (Abbie Cornish) resents Mexicans whose wages exceed hers in a San Antonio supermarket. Desperate for cash, she turns coyote, but when her smuggling ends in disaster, she is left with a little orphaned Mexican girl. “One thing I learned from Jesus,” advises her redneck father, “Don’t be a martyr.” The title “The Girl” refers not only to the young mexicana but also Ashley before her convincing transformation into a loving adult. Ashley’s question: “Why does every Mexican want to go to Texas?” becomes more haunting when Riker contrasts Bexar’s unremarkable landscape with mountainous, lush Oaxaca. $7-$10, 12:10pm, 2:45pm, 5:15pm, 7:40pm, and 10:05pm Monday-Thursday, Regal Huebner Oaks Stadium 14, 11075 IH-10 W, (210) 558-0427, regmovies.com. Check out our full online calendar of upcoming events here: calendar.sacurrent.com.
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