"Siempre, Luis" (2020 release; 95 min.) is a documentary about the life and times of Luis Miranda. As the film opens, Luis is at the doctor's office in New York for a check-up visit following a heart attack a year earlier. We then go back in time, as we learn of Luis' upbringing in Puerto Rico, including his protesting days at the University of Puerto Rico in the early 70s. In 1974 he comes to New York for a graduate degree at NYU, and before he knows it, he gets involved politically, and eventually is hired by Ed Koch as his liaison to the local Puerto Rican and other Latino communities... At this point we are 10 min. into the documentary. Couple of comments: this is the debut film of writer-producer-director John James. He seems to have been given unfettered access to Luis and his family, including his son Lin-Manuel Miranda, a/k/a/ the writer-creator of "Hamilton" (yes, the Broadway sensation). Besides examining Luis' political career, the movie centers around the father-and-son's attempt to bring the "Hamilton" touring production to Puerto Rico in order to raise funds after the devastation to Puerto Rico brought by Hurricane Maria in the fall of 2017. I was generally unfamiliar with the background of Luis Miranda (or his son), and the only thing I can conclude is that Luis has an amazing level of energy that he brings to whatever he is focusing on, be it in politics, or for the love of Puerto Rico, or his family. By the way, if you are hoping to catch a glimpse of the actual "Hamilton" play, fuggetaboutit (probably for contractual reasons) although there is a delightful clip of Lin-Manuel giving a sneak-peak of one song back in 2009 at the Obama White House (yes, 5 years before "Hamilton" reached Broadway). Bottom line: this is a fast-moving and enjoyable bio-doc about a colorful figure in the New York/Puerto Rico political world (and so much more). "Siempre, Luis" premiered on HBO this week, and is now available on HBO On Demand and other streaming services. If you have any interest in Puerto Rico or in "Hamilton", I'd readily suggest you check this out, and draw your own conclusion.
Documentary / Drama
Documentary / Drama
An immigrant from Puerto Rico is determined to bring the musical 'Hamilton' to his island home.
October 12, 2020