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Romantico (Sub English) (2005)

 NR |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Enhanced, NTSC, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English, Spanish
  • Region: All Regions
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Kino Video
  • DVD Release Date: April 3, 2007
  • Run Time: 80 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000MEYKBO
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #291,372 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

More than just a documentary dispatch from the illegal immigration frontlines, Mark Becker's Romantico evolves from a verite view of undocumented alien subculture to a deeply personal, "beautifully realized" (NY Post), subtly-hued, and bittersweet dramatic story of family, fatherhood, identity and survival. By day, Mariachi Carmelo Muniz washes cars, but at night, he and his friend Arturo perform norteno and ranchero music for gringo tips in the taquerias and bars of San Francisco's Mission District. Carmelo's meager itinerant living belies the deep roots and binding ties he has to his native Mexico. His wife, two young daughters, and gravely ill mother rely on the money Carmelo sends to them in the little town of Salvatierra. When Carmelo returns to the life and loved ones he left behind a thousand miles south of the border, he resumes the wearying struggle against medieval poverty that he sought to escape in "el Norte." As Carmelo doggedly copes with his mother's mortality, his daughters' needs, and his own dreams, Romantico becomes an unforgettable and "immensely Moving" (NY Daily News) portrait of love, pride, and grace connecting one life with two countries.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Touching. I'll be hoping for the soundtrack January 25, 2007
Format:DVD
This is a subtle, dignified documentary narrated mostly with the simple words and romantic lyrics of a humble man. We follow several months in the surprisingly unromantic life of a 64 year old Mexican mariachi musician and singer named Carmelo. We walk with him as he sings and plays his amazing guitar in San Francisco's restaurants and eventually back to his home in his Salvatierra, Mexico. There we accompany him at funerals, weddings, among the prostitutes at the local bars, and at last, his daughter's Quinceañera. It is a bittersweet reunion, coming home, for his family struggles financially with an income that takes weeks to earn in Mexico compared to what Carmelo could earn in one night in the US.

Through it all, Carmelo never complains. He appears almost shy, but determined to save something to ensure a secure future for his daughters. The costs to his own health and safety are steep. The many obstacles faced in a working-class migrant's life on both sides of the border might normally overwhelm the casual American viewer, if not for the truly gorgeous music and the traveled face of the leading man. The lyrics to the many Mexican traditional ballads are subtitled and often laced with great humor. Carmelo is no amateur musician, but he admits this was not how he expected to make his living. There is an amazing scene where his band accompanies a large funeral procession on foot among hundreds of mourners. Carmelo's baritone voice can be heard without a microphone for several blocks. This movie gives beautiful voice to one of the less-noticed but no less eloquent.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Two Cities March 31, 2007
Format:DVD
Carmelo Muniz hijacked director Mark Becker's film. But, to be fair, Becker let him. In the director's interview on this DVD, the San Franciscan says he had originally planned to make a documentary about mariachi players in his mostly Latino neighborhood. The last interview of the night with Muniz, however, was the best. The illegal immigrant musician, who sent money home to feed his family and send his daughters to school, answered questions with eloquence, and his story reeled Becker in.

The hijacking continued when Becker's single week of filming in San Francisco extended into weeks that took him across the border to Mexico when Muniz returned home to see his sick mother. As a musician in his beloved hometown, Muniz makes pennies on the dollar what he made in front of San Francisco eateries. He yearns to return to the States, but fears as he gets older he can't make the dangerous trip.

But Becker doesn't dwell on illegal immigration or politics so much as let Muniz tell his story. In the film, Muniz says he's waited his whole life to tell his story, and he somehow knew it would happen. He's charismatic, hard-working, open to change, and has a dream to be big. In a way, this film made it happen for him in the States and in Mexico. It's testimony to Muniz's storytelling and Becker's careful filmmaking that anyone who watches this film will be glad to have spent time with Muniz.

DVD Extras: A filmed interview with the director reveals he's well-spoken, intelligent, and interesting. It also explains what's happened to Muniz since the film was made. Deleted scenes of Muniz's hometown of Salvatierra and his own walking tour, with camera, through its streets are treats. A Q&A from a screening of the film is too short.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars moving, thoughtful film February 11, 2007
By rina m
Format:DVD
This is a moving thoughtful film that makes you aware of the difficult choices that some people must make - the choice of providing for their family or being with their family. The main character, Carmelo, simply can't be in two places at the same time and the strain of his choice is evident on both him and his family.

This movie should not only touch your heart, but make you realize how lucky you are that this is not a choice you need make - but one that so many make on a daily basis.

Visually pleasing with a great soundtrack you are on Carmelo's journey with him and connect with the other characters in the film.

This is a definite must see documentary and it is no wonder that it won support from Sundance and Slamdance.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Doc March 13, 2007
Format:DVD
I saw this movie in the theater. You should never believe what you read on the DVD box but in this case it's true: It really IS a moving portrait. It was eye-opening as well as entertaining. Anyone who wants to learn more about an immigrant's life, Mexico, the life of a modern troubadour and CERTAINLY anyone who lives in or loves San Francisco won't regret checking this out.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A film that changed my perspective May 4, 2007
Format:DVD
As a film student and independent filmmaker sometimes I wonder whether it's really worth it (after considering the financial risks, how limited the opportunities are, all the thankless parts involved in the process, etc...) Romantico's poster caught my eye at the Landmark Century Theater in Chicago and I knew that film was there to teach me A LOT OF LESSONS. I ordered it even before it had been released on DVD. I waited for weeks impaciently. I had to see it, I had to see it!!! There was something for me in that film. I could tell from the stills. The day came when I finally saw the film at home, late at night, in the middle of a extremely frustrating pre-production of a student film project. Romantico inspired me to move on, never give up, partly because of Carmelo's amazing personality. Partly because this film showed me that filmmaking pays off if you end up doing something so powerful. In other words: Romantico exceeded my expectations. I am not going to do a film review because that really isn't my thing. How the cinematographer captures the voice of the urban murals in San Francisco and the rural and colonial landscape in Salvatierra is just part of what makes the film so attractive to me. Carmelo's attitude, the characters' humanity, the strong messages expressed in simple words. All of that is even more important for me than the technical parts. I absolutely love this film, the songs, the people, the places, everything...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Romántico
I enjoyed seeing the inside of these peoples lives. The story is very touching. I was not expecting to think so differently after watching this movie. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Kristin
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching, socially important documentary
Intelligent, sad documentary about two illegal Mexican immigrants who try to scratch out a living, and
send some money home, playing music in various restaurants in the US. Read more
Published on December 30, 2011 by K. Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars Touching, socially important documentary
Intelligent, sad documentary about two illegal Mexican immigrants who try to scratch out a living,
and send some money home, playing music in various restaurants. Read more
Published on December 30, 2011 by K. Gordon
5.0 out of 5 stars Moving & Emotional Documentary
Carmelo's is an amazing story that chronicles his life in San Francisco as an immigrant trying to provide for his family in Mexico. Read more
Published on January 25, 2011 by V. Gutierrez
5.0 out of 5 stars Life on the margins . . .
Currently, the storm over the recently signed "show me your papers" law in Arizona fills the news, and this film puts a human face (and heart and soul) on those illegals the law is... Read more
Published on May 1, 2010 by Ronald Scheer
5.0 out of 5 stars The essence of hardworking people!
This film caught the essence of hardworking people trying to survive while making sacrifices that most people can't even imagine. The extras are great too! Read more
Published on July 22, 2007 by Mac Fan
5.0 out of 5 stars All I can say is wow
Such a great film. I am no film buff and rarely watch documentaries but I saw this in the theater and was blown away. Read more
Published on March 13, 2007 by Marc Maleh
5.0 out of 5 stars An Opera of the Ordinary
While documentary films are more popular than they've ever been, there's also been a pull towards the sensational. Read more
Published on March 13, 2007 by Alex Beckstead
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautfiul filmmaking
Mark Becker's Romantico is one of the most poignant and beautiful documentaries I've seen in recent years. Read more
Published on March 12, 2007 by a.c.
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful and touching film
This film is gorgeous and tells a touching story in a thoughtful way. The outside story is about immigration and poverty but the inside story is about a man who wants more than... Read more
Published on March 12, 2007 by Sarah S. Harbin
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