As anyone who has made it past the high school years can attest, adolescence can be tough. “Mosquita y Mari,” the feature film debut of writer/director Aurora Guerrero, is a coming of age story that reminds viewers what it is like to be 15 years old, with all of its impulsiveness and insecurity. The film explores the complexities of a budding friendship and possibly one-sided attraction between two Chicana high school students living in a struggling, predominantly Mexican neighborhood in Los Angeles
Yolanda (Finessa Pineda), the only child of a hard-working immigrant couple, is a straight-A student whose parents constantly remind her of their expectations that her schoolwork is the only thing she should focus on. Mari (Venecia Troncoso), an illegal immigrant, is a failing student who must help support her single mother and younger sister. After Mari is assigned to be Yolanda’s study partner, a friendship starts to grow between them.
As their bond grows stronger, they become lost in a private world of unspoken affection and heart-felt confessions of uncertain futures. Yolanda’s grades begin to decline and Mari’s focus drifts from her duties at her new job, as they each face ever-growing pressures at home. For both girls the friendship is a genuine refuge. Eventually, however, they are forced to choose between their obligations to their families and staying true to themselves.
“Mosquita y Mari” also features Laura Patalano as Cruz Olveros, Joaquin Garrido as Mr. Olveros, Dulce Maria Solis as Mrs. Rodriguez and Omar Layva as Mr. G. The drama was released in New York by Wolfe Releasing on August 3, 2012.