“Mija” is a new documentary about Doris Muñoz and Jacks Haupt, two daughters of immigrants from Mexico who are both navigating their careers in the music industry. Seeking to provide for their families while achieving their dreams, Doris and Jacks bond over the ever-present guilt of being the first American-born members of their families and the financial risks of pursuing their dreams. For them, the pressure of success is heightened because it is their family’s hope for green cards and family reunification.

Disney’s Original Documentary studios acquired this documentary back at the Sundance Film Festival earlier this year, showing how Disney is open to picking up different types of content.  This documentary certainly isn’t going to appeal to everyone, but it’s interesting to see the story of immigrating into the United States, especially from someone outside North America, since we only get to see these stories usually on the news.

It also shows an interesting take on working within the music industry, not just from being an artist, but also from the management point of view.  Especially showcasing how the pandemic really impacted on the music industry and, more importantly, what happens when the main breadwinner loses their income and can no longer help everyone in the family.  The annoying thing with the film, is that it glosses over why her job was lost and moves on so quickly, which seemed a little odd.

One of the things I liked about this documentary, was how they incorporated home videos from the Doris’s family growing up, as this really allows you to connect with the family, as you see all of their major life moments.  Another issue I had with this film is that is that it sometimes doesn’t know which story it wants to focus on.  The majority of the first part of the documentary is focused on the family’s migration issues, whereas there is a point about midway through, that the film shifts focus to Jacks about becoming a successful singer, which I didn’t find as interesting.

It’s certainly heartbreaking at times to see how the family have been ripped apart due to the migration rules, as some of the younger family members were born in the United States, so legally are US citizens, but those family members who weren’t, are constantly at risk of being deported.   We get to hear about how those that can legally live in the United States, have to deal with survivor guilt and deal with lots of stress and resentment from other family members.  This film also shows how the family rally together to look after one another and how the younger members of the family struggle to live up to the expectations of their parents, which is one of the biggest takeaways from this documentary.  The parents risked everything to get to the US for their children, but those children are rarely going to be able to achieve what is expected.  There are a couple of scenes involving Doris’s parents later in the documentary, which did bring a tear to my eye on more than one occasion.

“Mija” is an interesting documentary in places about the issues of migration.  It has a unique style that follows two different people in a very personal way, as we get to see them in some vulnerable places in their lives.   It’s a beautifully shot documentary, though it does drag in places.   While these types of additions to Disney+ aren’t going to be mainstream, it’s vital that these stories are out there for people to watch and learn.   It’s not an easy watch, and I’d probably suggest even watching it in two halves, rather than all at once.  I also found that I enjoyed learning about Doris Muñoz’s life, but I wasn’t really that interested in Jacks’ story and had it not been included, it would have meant this documentary was much more focused and maybe a little short.  If you want to learn more about US migration and the issues that feed down the generations, check out “Mija” out.  It’s not for everyone, but more choice is always good.  I certainly felt like I learned some valuable insight, and ultimately, that’s what’s important.

 

Rating: 3 Out Of 5

 

“Mija” is coming to Disney+ on Friday 16th September 2022





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Roger Palmer

Roger has been a Disney fan since he was a kid and this interest has grown over the years. He has visited Disney Parks around the globe and has a vast collection of Disney movies and collectibles. He is the owner of What's On Disney Plus & DisKingdom. Email: Roger@WhatsOnDisneyPlus.com Twitter: Twitter.com/RogPalmerUK Facebook: Facebook.com/rogpalmeruk

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