América Tropical, a mural deemed too offensive for the public, re-emerges decades after it was whitewashed. Its reappearance haunts Rita Rey with bittersweet memories of Prohibition era Los Angeles— a time when she had to fight a crooked system to save her family, US citizens, from deportation. Rita’s resistance gets her father deported under the ruthless Mexican Repatriation policy. Muralist and Mexican revolutionary David Siqueiros, who’s infatuated with Rita, encourages her to retaliate. She is mistakenly arrested as a communist subversive, and vows to find another way to stop the crooked cop who’s torn her world apart. The stakes are raised when it’s clear failure will mean she’ll lose everything. In the end Rita understands the ugly truth Siqueiros revealed in América Tropical cannot be whitewashed or covered up. And though progress has been made, the mural still speaks powerfully to the long way we have yet to go towards acceptance and equality.
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