Producer Moctezuma Esparza--a longtime Latino activist who led student demonstrations in the '60s--has come under fire along with co-producer/director Robert Redford for allegedly infusing "The Milagro Beanfield War" with stereotypical Latino characters and cultural inaccuracies.
The movie is a seriocomic fable about New Mexican farmers standing up to developers over water rights. It's due for release late this year.
The Latino firebrand this time is Leo Guerra, president of the Film and Television Minorities Committee and a member of both Nosotros and the Hispanic Academy of Media Arts and Sciences. Guerra worked as an assistant film editor on "Milagro" during postproduction early this year at Redford's Sundance Institute in Utah.
He's claiming that the film will demean the Latino image with unbelievable and offensive scenes, dialogue and characterizations, including the mythical Angel, a ghost-like figure with sombrero, peasant costume and rotting teeth ("The stereotypical Mexican," according to Guerra).