Sundance Exclusive Review: Siempre, Luis

Year: 2020
Runtime: 95 Minutes
Director: John James
Writers: Luis Alvarez y Alvarez, Carlos Garcia de Dios

By Rosa Parra

When first hearing about this documentary about Luis Miranda, I had to search who he was (I know I know, but I’m honest). Then I found out that he is the father of Lin Manuel Miranda, which piqued my interest. This documentary follows the life of Luis Miranda, a political consultant that would be a significant asset to the Latino community.

John James, Luis Miranda, Lin-Manuel Miranda

The movie begins with Luis in a doctor’s office after he suffered a heart attack ( this is a follow-up visit). The doctor suggests that he must lower his stress levels to avoid any future heart attacks. This would be the beginning of my mind being blown away by everything this man has done and continues to do. Luis Miranda was born and raised in Puerto Rico. He will move to New York, United States, where he would meet his current wife and will build his life.

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Luis Miranda was the political consultant for several politicians who will go on to successfully win their campaigns to the Senate. His influence within the Latino community is undeniable and admirable. This documentary goes back and forth with Luis and Lin preparing to debut “Hamilton” in Puerto Rico and Luis’s political accomplishments.

We’re all aware of the catastrophic outcome Hurricane Maria left in Puerto Rico. Luis and Lin would immediately begin organizing different ways to send aid to their beloved island. Lin began to write “Almost Like Praying,” which will later be sung by several Latinx musicians; Lin Manuel Miranda, Luis Fonsi, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Gina Rodriguez, Juan Luis Guerra, Gloria Estefan, Camila Cabello, and Rita Moreno just to name a few.

“Siempre, Luis” is an inspirational story about a Latino who has positively impacted his community as well as his family, and these types of stories deserve to be known”

Lin will send all earnings from this song over to Puerto Rico. Luis, on the other hand, would send food and necessary essentials over to the island. The Miranda’s were quicker to send aid to Puerto Rico than the government. Lastly, the most significant way to aid Puerto Rico is by taking Hamilton to the island. Lin announced he will be reprising his role as Hamilton, but this wouldn’t be an easy walk in the park. After overcoming some hurdles, Hamilton successfully debuts in Puerto Rico.

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In the meantime, the film explores the influence Luis had in Lin’s first musical “In the Heights,” which will go on to win the Tony Award for best musical. This would only be the beginning for Lin, and the rest is history. Luis Miranda lives his life to the maximum, he’s a man who must be busy and live by the motto “I’ll rest when I die.” What began as a movie about the father of Lin Manuel Miranda quickly turned into a film about Luis Miranda, who happens to have a son named Lin. I dare you all to watch this documentary and not feel unaccomplished.

“Siempre, Luis” is an inspirational story about a Latino who has positively impacted his community as well as his family, and these types of stories deserve to be known. Luckily the documentary was bought out by HBO, so please keep an eye out for it.

I give this film an 8 out of 10

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