Boricua | 2003
Four intertwined stories of Puero Rican youths in Chicago's Humboldt Park illustrate their struggles with cultural identity, gentrification, and pride. The four leads--Lola, Willy, German and Tata--are caught up in conflicts which test their sense of self, and lead them each on a quest for affirmation. Lola is a smart, fiery young woman who attends an urban university in Chicago. The daughter of two college professors, she meets Willie, one of a trio of lovable neer-do-wells, who hang out in their corner bantering, scoping out the girls and selling a joint or two. Their sizzling romance is complicated as Willie's old world notions of love and sex clash with Lola's strong will to transcend them. German, who has landed a job at an aggresive real estate development company in downtown Chicago, is highly ambitious. Anxious to be accepted into this white-collared world, German's colleaugues encourage him to manipulate and lie to elderly home owners in his territory. At first reluctant to betray his own people, German's boss gives him an ultimatum--acquire the bodega owned by the family of Willie's friend--or get fired. Tata is a neighborhood bombshell who wears her Puerto Rican heritage on her sleeve. She is talked into competing against her rival, Luz, in the annual contest for Queen of the Puerto Rican Day Parade. Winning the contest becomes an obsession for Tata. When doubts about her true ethnicity are raised, her eligibilty for the pageant, and more importantly, her racial identity, are both threatened. Tata must turn to Willie's third friend, Bum, for help and ultimately for self-validation. Their journeys all come to climactic resolutions on the day when Puerto Rican pride is at a pinnacle--the day of the annual Puerto Rican Day Parade.