The film industry, though it has come a long way, still has a long road ahead when it comes to representation. Rather than taking a back seat waiting to see if the industry will change, Latinos are jumping into the film industry to tell our stories in our own words. 

One example of Latinos creating a new space in the film industry is Antonio Salume. The Mexico City native says that when he was in college in the United States, he realized there was a huge Latino community that came seeking a better opportunity. Friends shared how much they were struggled trying to work and study at the same time. He felt like he didn’t have a choice. He felt responsible for sharing these stories with the rest of the world. 

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One of the projects that follows this narrative of chasing The American Dream is La Tierra de Clos / The Land of Clause. 

La Tierra de Clos is an experimental short film that examines stages in a family’s life, and the process of a parent’s letting go of their child as he comes of age. The film’s idea came during a time of reflection about the journey behind me and the one forming ahead. Inspired through my own experiences, I attempted to make a film about a boy who comes of age, but along the way, I discovered that such a story had another side—a parent’s letting go.” says Salume. 

He adds that this project, which has been submitted to multiple film festivals, is a love letter to the people who raised him as it takes audiences through his relationship with his mother and what he describes as the bittersweet feeling of leaving home and having to spend special holidays as a kid in an unknown world without a complete family. 

Salume says the film industry is often criticized for including political undertones in its pieces but that he knows it is important to include these accounts in his work.

“I admire Latinos for our resilience. We endure so many battles and stereotypes. We tend to be misunderstood,” Salume told mitú. “I wish people understood us more. What I can say about the Latino community is that slowly but surely, we are becoming stronger. We shouldn’t use law and legality to conclude morality on human ethics,” he added.

Salume hopes that this film connects viewers to their families, their homes and their experiences growing up. 

“I hope that by watching this film makes them call or meet with their mother, their father, their friend. I hope they say ‘thank you’ to someone dear to them.”

You can watch La Tierra de Clos below: