Backstreet is a bilingual social-impact documentary about how street food fosters racial tolerance. This English/Spanish film is a deep dive into the birthplace of food trucks – Los Angeles – and juxtaposes the experiences of American entrepreneurs versus Mexican immigrants chasing the American Dream.
On one side, first-season winners of The Great Food Truck Race (2010), Grill ‘Em All represents the industry’s pop-culture boom. On the other side is El Pescadito, a traditional mariscos (seafood) truck that’s been parking in the same blue-collar neighborhood near South L.A. since 1986. It’s not on social media and its clientele is 100% Latino. The two narratives play out along the cultural divide of the food truck industry: American entrepreneurs and Mexican immigrants, gourmet trucks and traditional loncheras, a path to the formal economy versus the informal economy that immigrants rely on.
A four-minute animated open, done partially in the indigenous Náhuatl language, traces street food from the traditional lonchera back to Ancient México. We discover that Náhuatl names are still used for many Mexican foods from Guacamole and Chipotle to chocolate, Pozole, and tequila. Native sounds from handmade instruments bring this section to life!
Directed by Patricia Nazario (USA)