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"A Million Miles Away": From Mexican American migrant worker to American Dream achiever

“A Million Miles Away”: From Mexican American migrant worker to American Dream achiever

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Mexican American Migrant Worker’s Journey to NASA Astronaut: A Story of Inspiration and Identity


The new film “A Million Miles Away” explores the remarkable journey of Jose Hernandez, a Mexican American who went from being a migrant farm worker to becoming a NASA astronaut. Directed by Alejandra Marquez Abella, the film tells the inspiring true story of a man who overcame challenges and pursued his dream against all odds.

A Childhood Dream

Jose Hernandez, played by Michael Pena in the film, grew up in a Mexican American migrant worker family. Despite facing numerous obstacles, including language barriers and a transient lifestyle, Jose never let go of his childhood dream of becoming an astronaut. In the movie, it is revealed that Jose’s best friend, Beto, offers a perspective that resonates with him: “Who better than a migrant, somebody that knows what it’s like to dive into the unknown?” With this newfound inspiration, Jose sets out on a journey to NASA.

Philosophical Discussion: The American Dream and Achievers

Jose Hernandez’s story is a testament to the power of the American Dream and the resilience of individuals who are determined to achieve their goals. Despite the challenges he faced as a migrant farm worker, Jose’s ambition and work ethic propelled him towards success. The film challenges the stereotype of migrant workers being solely seen as hard workers by highlighting their ambitions. It prompts us to rethink our assumptions and recognize the hidden potential and dedication within this marginalized group.

The Director’s Perspective

Director Alejandra Marquez Abella, an up-and-coming Mexican director, shares her experience working on this project and navigating the predominantly white male-dominated Hollywood system. She expresses her determination to stay true to herself and not feel the need to conform to society’s expectations of what a director should look like. Abella’s journey in making this film serves as a reminder that breaking barriers and defying stereotypes are essential steps towards progress and a more inclusive industry.

Editorial: Diversity and Representation in Hollywood

Abella’s inclusion as the director of “A Million Miles Away” demonstrates the importance of diversity and representation in the film industry. It opens up opportunities for underrepresented voices to tell their stories and break the mold of a predominantly homogeneous narrative. By showcasing diverse perspectives, Hollywood can contribute to a more inclusive society and challenge the dominant narratives that perpetuate stereotypes.

Themes of Identity and Belonging

Another significant theme explored in the film is that of identity. As Jose pursues his dream, he grapples with his Mexican American heritage and how it fits into the predominantly white engineering industry. He feels like the lone Latino at his job and refuses his mother’s offer to pack enchiladas for lunch, believing it will make him stand out in a negative way. However, his sister challenges him on this, highlighting that being unique in a room can make one powerful rather than weak.

Philosophical Discussion: Embracing Identity and Overcoming Stereotypes

The film’s portrayal of Jose’s struggle with his identity resonates with many immigrants and individuals from marginalized communities. It reflects the internal conflicts that arise when attempting to assimilate into a dominant culture while holding onto one’s unique heritage. The story serves as a reminder that embracing one’s identity and celebrating cultural diversity can be empowering, challenging the notion that conformity and assimilation are prerequisites for success.

The Power of Setting Goals

The film also emphasizes the importance of setting goals and dreaming big. Jose’s father instilled in him five key ingredients for maintaining focus: define your goal, determine the path to achieve it, educate yourself along the way, work harder when things get tough, and never give up. These guiding principles help Jose navigate the challenges of pursuing his dream and inspire viewers to pursue their own aspirations.

Advice: Setting Goals and Overcoming Doubt

Jose’s unwavering determination despite facing numerous rejections serves as a valuable lesson to anyone chasing their dreams. The film encourages individuals to define their goals, draw a roadmap to achieve them, continuously learn and improve, and most importantly, remain resilient in the face of adversity. It reminds us that doubters may try to undermine our dreams, but their laughter should never deter us from pursuing our passions.


“A Million Miles Away” is a film that celebrates the triumphs of the human spirit and explores themes of ambition, identity, and resilience. Jose Hernandez’s remarkable journey from Mexican American migrant worker to NASA astronaut inspires viewers to defy odds and pursue their dreams. The film also serves as a reminder of the importance of diversity and representation in the film industry, as well as the need to challenge stereotypes and embrace individuality. Ultimately, it encourages us all to reach for the stars, regardless of our backgrounds or circumstances.


"A Million Miles Away": From Mexican American migrant worker to American Dream achiever
<< photo by Pixabay >>
The image is for illustrative purposes only and does not depict the actual situation.

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Green Rache

Hi, I'm Rachel Green, a journalist who has worked in both print and broadcast media. I'm a firm believer in the power of journalism to change lives, and I strive to make a positive impact through my reporting.

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