Patricia Vidal Delgado and Monica Betancourt on HBO Latino’s La Leyenda Negra [Exclusive Interview]

La Leyenda Negra
La Leyenda Negra

Many people don’t realize the life of Dreamers had to endure to stay in the United States.

For hundreds of thousands of Dreamers, these young teens and adults only know of one home—the United States. Their lives brought into this country as undocumented children, but only growing up knowing the American culture without any experience of their birth country.

With Patricia Vidal Delgado’s La Leyenda Negra, it tells a tale about a young undocumented El Salvadorian struggling through high school and staying in America.

The director pulled actual students from Compton High School in Los Angeles to play several of the roles, including Monica Betancourt, who is the lead for the film. Other cast members include Kailei Lopez, Irlanda Moreno, Maria Jose Fernandez, Sammy Flores, and Justin Avila.

Here’s the official synopsis of the film:

La Leyenda Negra follows teenager Aleteia, who transfers to a new high school in Compton and struggles to make friends. As an El Salvadorian immigrant who has grown up in the United States, Aleteia has made underground activism her foundation for making her voice heard, but everything is thrown into jeopardy when her temporary protection status is compromised and her future becomes uncertain. She unexpectedly befriends Rosarito, a popular girl who is tired of her vapid clique and drawn to Aleteia’s resilience, much to queen bee Monica’s annoyance. As the girls grow closer, Aleteia becomes more determined than ever to fight for her right to stay in the home she has always known.

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LRM Online’s Gig Patta chatted with director Patricia Vidal Delgado and lead star Monica Betancourt. We talked about the Dreamers issues, using young actors in the roles, and filming in black and white.

For Monica Betancourt, La Leyenda Negra is her film acting debut. She graduated from Compton High School in 2018 after being involved with the school’s TV production courses.

Patricia Vidal Delgado studied fine art media at Central St. Martins University of the Arts London and Slade School of Fine Art, University College London. Her first narrative-based short film Bue Sabi won multiple awards and screened over thirty film festivals. Also, she directed other shorts including Isa, Ico, and The Hood. In 2018, her feature script Diana was one of the top twenty finalists for the Film Empire “Fempire” Screenplay Competition. La Leyenda Negra is her feature film directorial debut that made its initial premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.

La Leyenda Negra made its premiere on HBO Latino and now available to stream on HBO Max.

Watch the exclusive interview below. Let us know what you think.

Source: LRM Online Exclusive, HBO Latino

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Gig Patta

Gig Patta is a journalist and interviewer for LRM and Latino-Review since 2009. He was a writer for other entertainment sites in the past with Collider and He originally came from the world of print journalism with several years as a reporter with the San Diego Business Journal and California Review. He earned his MBA from the Keller Graduate School of Management and BA in Economics from UC San Diego. Follow him on Instagram @gigpatta or Facebook @officialgigpatta.

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