The Student Voice Of Contra Costa College, San Pablo, Calif.

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The Student Voice Of Contra Costa College, San Pablo, Calif.

The Advocate

This long anticipated film screened at CCC had a successful turnout

‘American Homeboy’ event gave attendees an enjoyable experience and a new perspective on Pachuco culture

The extensive planning of the ‘American Homeboy’ event paid off as the film left the audience wanting to see more.

Making it a great turnout, dozens of people gathered outside of the Knox Performing Arts Center at Contra Costa College for the American Homeboy documentary film screening event on Friday, April 12. The film explores the origin complexities of Pachuco culture as it grew in the U.S. 

The event was hosted by Lorena Gonzales, a faculty member at CCC with the help of La Raza Studies and the automotive program at CCC. 

The crowd entered with excitement as they were greeted with a low-riding car show sponsored by local low-riding groups including Otra Cosa Car Club, Brotherland, Just Lowriders, and Excandolow. 

As it came close for the film to start, Gonzalez and the volunteers gathered the audience into the theater. Before the film, Lorena expressed her gratitude for those who helped her make the event happen and gave a shout-out to the attendees for coming out. American Homeboy director Brandon Loran Maxwell also expressed his gratitude and the importance of the film to the Chicano community.

Maxwell explained why he created the film, saying that he grew up around this subculture. 

“It’s something that I love, something that has always fascinated me,” Maxwell said. “I wanted to contextualize the subculture for outsiders who have preconceived notions and stereotypes about the culture.”

He mentioned that recently, he has been traveling across the country for the past five months, showcasing the film in 30 cities so far. Once he’s done with his travels, he said he’ll be working on his next project. He is slowly raising money for the next project even though it won’t be about Chicano history, he hopes to make a limited series on Chicano History.

Cast member John Ulloa was also in attendance. 

“I wanted to talk about the globalization of Lowriding in the film. This film is super important because it documents a history that is omitted from the textbooks,” Ulloa said. “It’s not until now put into a school curriculum. Brandon approached me to do the film.”

Throughout the film, the audience cheered in parts where the documentary showcased pride in the culture. They laughed at the jokes cracked by the cast members and some even had tears when watching the harsh realities of discrimination they experienced.

After the booming ovation, Maxwell and Ulloa had the chance to answer questions from the audience.

Ulloa spoke about his thoughts on the culture being used as an aesthetic today, 

“Chicanismo in a lot of ways now it has become an aesthetic and corporations have taken everything that is not wanted out of Chicano to make a quick buck,” he said.“History demonstrates that if we don’t control and speak our own truth someone else will give their own version of it.”

The crowd seemed to enjoy the film as they asked the pair whether they plan for the film to expand its streaming to a wider audience.

Crowd member Sergio asked, “I wanted to know if you are ever going to make this go to where everyone can see it; So the people who don’t know about our culture could see this?”

Maxwell said that so far, it has been shown in indie film theaters, but they have sold out in many places and there are plans to get it into streaming platforms To extend the audience for the film, the filmmakers said they will also work with more colleges. 

“After we get it into streaming more people will see it. And we’ll see where it goes on from there,” Maxwell said. 

Overall, American Homeboy was a great informative film highlighting the impacts of the Chicano community including from today in the 21st century dating back to WW2. Seeing an insider’s perspective helps others understand the true meaning of Pachuco culture.


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About the Contributors
Nojixa Anacleto
Nojixa Anacleto, Associate Editor
Leon Watkins
Leon Watkins, Advocate Staff

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