Jorge Xolalpa decided to make a movie that tells the story of his mother, a Mexican immigrant who worked hard in the United States to direct him and his sisters.
What this 32-year-old Mexican did not expect was that his feature film “Your Iron Lady” (“Tu Dama de Hierro”, 2020) would end up with a Golden Globe nomination.
“My intention was to give the film to my mom, on Mother’s Day.” Xolalpa said in an interview with the Associated Press from Los Angeles, where he resides, “Let it be a greeting. “I had never imagined in my life that I would be in this position after a year.”
Xolalpa wrote and directed the movie, which was only $ 1,500 out of his own pocket. Mexican actress Victoria del Rosal plays her mother Teresa Galan, a 65-year-old woman who escaped from an abusive husband when she arrived in the United States and worked as a housecleaning to support her four children.
Filmed on 15 days in April 2019 in Torrance, the Los Angeles County city where Xolalpa originated, the film has been successfully shown at events such as the Florida Film Festival and won awards at the Seattle Latino Film Festival and San Diego Latino Film Festival, among others.
“Your Iron Lady,” which is spoken in Spanish despite its official title in English, is on a long list of productions vying for a Golden Globe nomination for Best Foreign Language Film.
The director said none of the few actors were paid for their work and that their mother had prepared them for food. “Everyone donated their time. I promised them that we could eventually make a movie that we would all be proud of, and I think it came true.”
Born in Mexico City, Xolalpa was brought by his parents to the United States in 1998, when he was nine years old. Their tourist visas have expired, but they have remained in the country in search of job opportunities. Xolalpa has become what is known as a “dreamer”: in 2013 he was accepted into the so-called DACA, the immigration relief program for young immigrants that temporarily suspends their deportation.
Xolalpa started studying law, but movies like Darren Aronofsky “Black Swan” (2010) and “Tangerine” (2015) by Sean Baker have inspired him to change his career.
“I don’t know what caught my eye about my desire to make movies. I told myself“ I want to do this, ”said Zulalpa, who has not taken cinema lessons and learned by reading online and practicing on her iPhone. He also directs films like” Valentina “. (2017) and “Sweet Carolina” (2018). His most recent work is “Melancolía,” which he plans to introduce in a few months.
Xolalpa believes that “Your Iron Lady” touches on a very important issue, and that is the issue of immigration, as US President Joe Biden is now planning to dismantle the harsh immigration legacy of his predecessor, Donald Trump.
“It is an empowering movie for all immigrant families,” the director said. “What this movie does is that it knows that despite all the adversities and all the troubles you may be going through, your close family, together, can move forward.”
Although she didn’t get a Globe nomination, Xolalpa celebrates how much the movie actually brought her.
He said, “This movie brought me and my family closer to each other and that’s the most beautiful thing ever.”