"Vecinos: Love Thy Neighbor"
An adaptation of the 2008 stage play by Teatro Vivo co-founder Rupert Reyes, director Alex Avila’s Vecinos: Love Thy Neighbor examines the relationship between elderly parent and adult child against the backdrop of a changing East Austin’s Latino community. Reyes stars in this spiritual celebration of his father’s life as Roberto, a widower who strikes up a fast friendship with his new neighbor, retiree Maria. Roberto, though, fails to notice that his son Samuel is experiencing a midlife crisis, one that is directly tied to Samuel safe but unfulfilling job with the state government. Meanwhile, Maria must contend with her anxious daughter Sylvia, who constantly questions Maria’s decision to move from her nice West Austin home to a small apartment in her childhood neighborhood in East Austin. Rupert Reyes’ real-life son Julio Carreon-Reyes plays Samuel. Alma Chapa Moore plays Maria and Karinna Perez plays Sylvia, the role she originated on stage. Shot in Austin and Buda, Vecinos: Love Thy Neighborwill stream through June 14 during the Cine Las Americans International Film Festival. Vecinos: Love Thy Neighbor represents the directorial debut of the Austin-based Alex Avila. He wrote and produced 2017’s Closer to Bottom, which featured Rupert Reyes. In 2000, actor/playwright Reyes and his wife JoAnn Reyes cofounded Teatro Vivo, the Austin-based bilingual arts organization dedicated to exploring the Latino experience in America.
Aired: June 10, 2021.