Everything’s Coming Up Rosie

You might imagine Rosie Perez -- successful actress, In Living Color’s legendary choreographer who orchestrated the Fly Girls’ every move, and dynamic star of Broadway’s The Vagina Monologues -- would have no problem making her dream project reality. But when it came to her directorial debut, the riveting documentary Yo Soy Boricua, Paque Tu Los Sepas! (I’m Boricua, Just So You Know!), this was not the case.

Hollywood’s power players weren’t enthusiastic to support her story about the forced sterilization of Puerto Rican women. “I just kept banging my head against the wall until I found the door,” she explains. But Perez’s determination paid off. Her documentary strikes a successful balance between sad and funny, inspiring and disturbing, while reinforcing the strength of family and patriotic pride. Through interviews with family, friends, and cultural figures who witnessed the island’s turbulent history unfold, Perez reveals what makes Puerto Ricans “so damn proud.” She says, “It’s been a very long process -- at least six years. I wanted to make sure that I did everything right.”

South Florida audiences will be thrilled to find that one of the film’s most heartwarming scenes takes place in Miami, when Perez travels to meet some distant relatives. She admits to having a strained relationship with our often ostentatious city. “It just seems like everything is about money in that whole South Beach scene. And I’m not a materialistic person. But my cousins have shown me a more down to earth side of the city. The Miami that they’ve shown me, I like,” she says.

Tonight Perez will share her labor of love with local audiences and then participate in a question-and-answer session. She’s excited about showing her project to a viewing audience. “I feel 50-fucking-feet tall. I put every single bit of myself into this thing, and I feel very, very good about it,” she beams. Catch the world premiere of Perez’s directorial debut tonight at 6:30 at the Colony Theater. Tickets cost $12. Call 305-237-3456, or visit www.miamifilmfestival.com.
Tue., March 7, 6:30 p.m.
 
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