Filly Brown had its début at the Sundance Film Festival midway through 2012, garnering a strong opening with some great reviews. However, no one could foretell the tragedy that would befall one of its stars: Jenni Rivera. The iconic Latino singer died in a plane crash in December 2012, and Filly Brown was her first, and sadly last film role. The official trailer has now been released and the movie has finally been given a release date of April 13th 2013, after much debate over whether it should be released at all.
Filly Brown is the story of the eponymous latter-day generation Latino street poet who tries desperately to fix her broken family, which fell apart as a result of drug abuse and crime, through the use of rap. In her rise to stardom she comes up against many challenges and plenty of people trying to knock her down - her father, played by Lou Diamond Phillips, is one of her biggest obstacles.
Not only is this movie a big deal because of Rivera's co-starring role, but also because of the demographic it centres around. The Huffington Post quotes Edward James Olmos on the importance of seeing Latino culture in mainstream movies. "We represent 16% of the population of the country, but we have less than 2% of the images on film and television." He says, praising the movie, "Filly Brown is made for a universal audience, but it could become the first major Latino breakthrough film to be embraced by the entire Latino community in full. It's a story that digs deeply into the family and into music...two elements that Latinos love."
While, certainly, Latino culture needs to find greater representation, the premise of Filly Brown doesn't paint a picture of positivity, rather seeming to devolve and pander to many stereotypes. However, looks can be deceiving and given the high praise it got during its run at the Sundance Festival it looks as though Filly Brown may have hidden depths.
Take a look at the trailer right here and let us know what you think: