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Russian novelist, Leo Tolstoy, once said “All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

For many years the dynamics of the American family have been showcased across the entertainment world in both tv and film. Many of these characters in various sitcoms and dramas have become iconic representations, both culturally and as ways to identify and describe one’s own family.

In the early days of television, the American family was depicted as; wholesome, polite, friendly, funny, all around picture perfect. As the years went on different sides of the American family were starting to be shown, there were now disagreements, conflicts and problems. The family dynamic in the media was changing to represent the reality of the families watching, including the showing of families from different cultures.

While a dynamic representation of the American family has continued in the media. The representation of the Latino family has continued to stay the same. For years many shows depicting Latino families and characters have given everyone an idea of the Latino family, however the representation has typically leaned towards the stereotypical. And while there is some truth in a few portrayals, it never truly comes across as authentic.

In her feature debut director and writer of De Lo Mio Diana Peralta introduces us to three siblings; Rita, Carolina and Dante. Rita and Carolina are two high-spirited sisters raised in New York who travel to the Dominican Republic to reunite with their estranged brother Dante, to clean out their late father’s home before it is sold and demolished. While sorting through the remnants of their family’s legacy, things become emotional as joys, pains and traumas resurface — all of which the siblings must confront.

While this scenario is not new to a family dynamic. It is not something we have seen portrayed in the media using a Latino family. The early 2000’s sitcom “George Lopez,” which ran six season, portrayed the Mexican-Cuban-American family as comical even during intense scenes. Humor and witty remarks were a constant on the show and it gave the audience the idea that all Latino families spoke without filters and fear of hurting feelings.

The Emmy winning show “Modern Family” portrayed Sofia Vergara’s character, Gloria, as a fun-loving and feisty Columbian woman, who had the occasional “Latin-fits” where she would start speaking Spanish in moments of anger and frustration. The use of the Spanish language as a signal to indicate intensity, is the most common and misused trait in Latino representation.

While yes there is some truth in the portrayals of both the family and individual. To say that those characteristics are factual representation, is just stereotypical. There are plenty of reasons why a bilingual person would switch languages mid-sentence, that doesn’t always mean it is because they are upset or frustrated. Just as well, how the family dynamics of Latino isn’t just comical all the time.

What Peralta did in De Lo Mio for her directorial debut was show the dynamics of a family that live in separate places, have possibly different ideals and views on some subjects and come together to clean out a family home that has been put up for sale.

Carolina and Rita live in New York and while they are not strangers to the Domincan Republic, it does take them a while to get used to their surroundings. Aside from getting used to the mosquitoes “attacking them,” they don’t understand the rush to clean out the home, why their brother is okay with their family home being demolished, his no fear attitude with using a gun when they think there’s an intruder and his some-what distant relationship with his son.

Their brother Dante had remained in the Domincan Republic his whole life. A fact that he lets known well at the beginning when discussing with his sisters the sale of the house. Whether or not he wants to sell the home, he can’t afford to maintain the place on his own. He has and lives a very different life from his sisters and therefore has different views. While his sisters want to reminisce and possibly preserve the home. Dante doesn’t see the point in dwelling in the past and would rather just move forward with what needs to be done. When the question of using a gun instead of calling the police and waiting outside when they think someone is in the home. Dante calls his sisters “tourists” who have no idea how the world works down there.

Things come to a blow between Rita and Dante when they return from a nightclub. Things are said, feelings are hurt, but in the end when Rita is clearly upset and burning old memories. Dante puts aside his anger and comforts his crying sister.

The dynamics of the family in Peralta’s film, speaks more truth to the modern Latino family today than most shows currently on air representing what they believe is authentic.

De Lo Mio is available now on HBO and HBO Latino