Eva Longoria has been an advocate for Latinos in the United States for years. But her upcoming movie, “Frontera,” is a departure on a number of levels.
In the Magnolia Pictures release, Longoria plays a pregnant wife living in Mexico who is forced to deal with the dangers of crossing the border into the U.S. to help her husband (Michael Peña), who has been wrongly accused of a murder.
Not only is the film a dramatic look at the hot button issues of immigration and human trafficking, it is Longoria’s first Spanish-language film role.
In “Frontera,” the wife of a former sheriff is murdered while riding on their ranch along the Arizona-Mexico border.
Peña’s character, Miguel, who is attempting to cross the border illegally when the murder takes place, is arrested. The ex-sheriff, played by the Oscar-nominated actor Ed Harris, comes to believe Miguel is not guilty, and he launches his own investigation.
Peña recently portrayed the Chicano labor leader in “Cesar Chavez.”
"Frontera" director, Michael Berry, said that when he and co-writer, Juan Luis Moulinet, started talking about making the film, they were both adamant that they did not want to lean the narrative toward one side of the other.
“We wanted instead to illuminate and focus on the humanity from the point of view of the characters on both sides,” he said. “Our most ambitious home is that, in some small way, the story of ‘Frontera’ might raise questions and serve as a reminder that there are human beings on both sides of the line being affected by these issues every day.”
Longoria, who was raised in Texas, is no stranger to the complexity of immigration policy in the United States, having raised concerns about the treatment of the thousands of Central American children who have crossed the border illegally this year.
“Little is being done to understand who these children are, where they’re coming from, what they’re facing,” she said at the National Council de la Raza’s annual convention earlier this month. “They had the bad luck to be born in poor, violent countries in Central America. These children are running for their lives, and they believe that the United States will protect them."
“Frontera” is currently available on demand and will be in theaters on Sept. 5.