I've heard about foreign film, Like Water for Chocolate, randomly over the years and that it was really good. I was never quite sure what it was about and never had much interest in seeing it. But in some book that I read this year I heard that movie dealt with the conflict of a mother and daughter relationship.
So, that tidbit alone made me put it on the Netflix queue. It came a few weeks ago and I almost sent it back unwatched. But, in an unusual move for me, I decided to sit down and watch it tonight instead of working. (Yea for progress!)
I enjoyed the movie for many reasons, touching on various areas of my life:
1. Even though I speak Spanish and my family is Latin American, I rarely watch Spanish language TV or movies. It was nice to absorb Spanish in a different way and learn some new words/expressions.
2. Because I was raised with Latin American values - which are intensely centered around the family - I could definitely relate with the plight of the main character who is not allowed to marry because she must care for her mother.
3. That being said and while I feel definitely responsible for my parents care (as evidenced yet again today by accompanying them on a never ending amount of trips to the doctor) my parents didn't ever keep me from marrying! They have also been very loving and accepting of my American husband and stepson and while I once felt they were my obligation, I now freely accept that I want to care for them. And while my mom can make me nuts, she's nothing like the hateful mother of the movie.
4. I really loved that all the main characters of the movie - Tita herself, her nanny, plus more - none of them are mothers, however, they are the most powerful figures in the film. Tita's nanny is significantly more influential & loving in her life over her own mother. Tita, also in role as aunt, is instrumental in the lives of her nieces and nephew. I found this almost stunning, especially in a Mexican family, where the matriach is always such a strong figure. It was probably lost on a lot of people, but as a women who likely won't bear biological children and loves being an aunt, well, it wasn't lost on me. Yea for kick ass aunts!
5. I also loved how Tita and one of her sisters went against what people told them they should be, stood up to the status quo and lived out their lives to their standards. They were great role models to me, since I tend to like to go against the status quo myself.
Well, I'll leave it at that. I'm glad I decided to watch this movie, which came out in 1992. 18 years later and I still found it incredibly relevant and ahead of its time.