What do you get when you combine two very different cultures and opposite personalities? Half Brothers explores just that. The film follows Renato, a successful Mexican aviation executive, and his free-spirited American half-brother, Asher, as the two journey from Mexico to the United States, tracing the path their father took as an immigrant. Actor/producer Luis Gerado Mendez and director Luke Greenfield expressed how they wanted Half Brothers to trigger conversations about Mexican-American relations in an interview with CinemaBlend.
It took about three years to develop the script for Half Brothers. It’s a comedy with a familiar Odd Couple dynamic that also contains a lot of heart. Audiences are given the opportunity to explore these tensions along with the characters. The film contains a myriad of poignant comments related to culture and American ignorance, which turns out to be something that attracted both Luis Gerardo Mendez (who plays Asher) and director Luke Greenfield to the script. In Mendez’s words:
That makes sense, as humor is often used as a way of coping with tragedy. Many find that making light of something makes it more digestible, which can help open the conversation. The approach worked, too, because Half Brothers is not lacking in the laugh department. For those going in with misconceptions about one country or the other, there’s a lot to learn from this film, and as the filmmakers hoped, a lot to discuss after viewing.
Beyond triggering conversations, telling this story also provided an outlet for the cast and crew to play with the material and truly have fun with it. Director Luke Greenfield knew the conversations between the main characters would be explosive simply due to their differing backgrounds, and he used that momentum. Greenfield expanded upon the comedic element of Half Brothers, sharing his thought process behind directing this film. Here’s what he told CinemaBlend:
It may have felt like a lofty goal, but it was achieved. Half Brothers delivers interesting characters, the aforementioned tone-shifts and serves as a brilliant conversation piece on Mexican-American relations. The film is currently available in select theaters.
Obsessed with Hamilton and most things Disney. Gets too attached to TV show characters. Loves a good thriller, but will only tolerate so much blood.
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