In the more than 20 years that Patricia Riggen has been working in the United States, she has watched more and more doors open for Latino artists who decide to forge their careers in that country.
In an exclusive chat with El Sol de México, the director shared that the situation “has changed a lot since I left Mexico; there weren’t even five female directors here, and the same in the United States.
“Now there is an awareness of the disproportion that women and people of color have suffered, in this industry, there is already an intention to hire and give them space,” she says.
However, although she considers that today the filmmakers “have it easier”, she recognized that it is a very demanding career and regretted that there are still those who are against this opening.
“Obviously there is an adverse reaction from a lot of people, men in particular, because they are not being hired and women are. We have a lot of experience and we do things very well, so we hope that with time their courage will pass and they will accept that they have to compete”.
Patricia Riggen began her career in 1997, as a production assistant; Her first title came 10 years later when she directed the film La misma luna, starring Eugenio Derbez and Kate del Castillo.
This was followed by other titles such as Lemonade Mouth, Revolución, Girl In Progress, Miracles From Heaven and Los 33, based on the collapse of the San José mine in Copiapó, Chile in 2010.
Today she looks forward to the path she has traveled, as little by little the path has been forged for the filmmakers who come after her. “When I started we were three percent, then it went up to five, eight and then 15 percent. We are already at 20 percent, there is a lot of progress, but it is only the beginning because gender equity is sought. Hopefully one day we’ll be in our 50s and 50s,” she confides.
Show the heart of Latinos
His most recent project was within the Apple TV series Little America, which is based on letters from migrants sent in the 1980s and picked up by Epic Magazine. Riggen was in charge of The Indoor Arm, a chapter that follows two young men fleeing from the guerrillas in El Salvador.
The eldest, played by the Mexican Teresa Ruíz, is dedicated to caring for an elderly lady who is in the last stage of her life, and in the midst of it she receives her sister Ciela (the Spanish singer Victoria Canal), who lacks his right hand.
The filmmaker explained that given the nationality of one of the protagonists, she had to turn to the daughter of Adriana Barraza, who is a teacher of dialects, to help her achieve a convincing Salvadoran accent, and give the story greater realism.
Meanwhile, Teresa Ruíz explained that together with the director, they based themselves on their own experiences as migrants, because when they talked they realized that Americans are very different from Mexicans, in the sense that they are less warm and less close to their families. Especially when it comes to older people.
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For this reason, he expressed his desire that through stories like this one the public discover that the contributions of Latinos go far beyond being a workforce. “If we contribute something in addition to our work, it is our heart,” he said.
“Our sincerity, our ability to want to be together and to build families, wherever we go. It is something that they have not realized in that country, they benefit a lot from our warmth as well, ”he concluded.
The second season of Little America is available on Apple TV.
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