With this auspicious feature film debut, Aurora Guerrero explores the complexities of a budding friendship between two Chicana high schoolers in Los Angeles’s Huntington Park. Yolanda is stellar in her studies and makes her parents proud, while Mari has just moved to town with her undocumented family. On her first day of school, Mari is assigned to be Yolanda’s study partner. After a rocky start, the two find a bond that confuses them at times. Guerrero’s steady direction allows more intimate understanding of the girls’ aspirations and their families’ expectations.
With evocative performances from Fenessa Pineda as Yolanda and Venecia Troncoso as Mari, we experience their struggles: adjusting to their new reality; and charting their own paths in the face of parental sacrifice, immigration experiences, and peer pressure. In Mosquita y Mari, Guerrero delivers an impressionistic meditation on desire, set in a vibrant Latino community, and emerges as an exciting new voice in American cinema. –Sundance Film Festival
A straight-A student befriends a troubled girl who is new in school and sets out to help her improve her grades. As they try to navigate high school life and impoverished conditions at home, their budding friendship soon begins to take on unexpected, and unspoken, undertones. Earnest but a bit meandering, & hampered by weak performances by a non-pro cast, even as it captures a palpable evocation of teenage friendship