Eva Longoria premiered her film “La Guerra Civil” at Sundance Film Festival. The documentary is Longoria’s second film as a director, and it follows the 1996 championship bout between Oscar De La Hoya and Julio César Chávez.
“La Guerra Civil” is a film that would have normally packed the red carpet with A-listers and fans. This year, it was an all-digital event, with Longoria, De La Hoya, and different members of the cast and crew making video appearances to present and discuss the film.
Longoria, who’s had years of directing experience, was approached by De La Hoya to direct a film of one of the most famous fights of his career. While she was intrigued by the prospect of it, she agreed only on the condition of doing the film her own way, using the fight to illustrate the cultural divide that exists between Mexicans and first and second-generation Mexicans in the United States. Texas Monthly provided a recap of Longoria’s statement after the screening. “What’s interesting to me is the cultural divide that that fight had. My household was divided. And so I thought that would be interesting to explore because I feel like it’s an issue we still face as a community,” she said.
The fight between De La Hoya and Chávez represented both sides of the Mexican perspective; while De La Hoya is of Mexican descent and presented himself as such, he was born in raised in the U.S. Chávez was born and raised in Mexico, and was idolized by his countrymen.
“The way Eva just put it together was incredible. She captured the important moments, those moments that literally divided our cultures because of this fight,” De La Hoya said to Deadline. “The Mexican national was my uncles — they were rooting for Chávez. The younger generation was rooting for me, the Mexican-American. So, it was pretty heated. Eva just captured it perfectly.”
Longoria explained that the culture clash presented in the film is something that has followed her throughout her career, a feeling she still experiences to this day. “The way we grew up, you know, I’m Mexican American. I’m a Texican. I grew up in a Mexican household, we ate Mexican food, we listen to Mexican music. But if I go to Mexico, you know, I’m the gringa. I’m the American,” she said.
“La Guerra Civil” will be available to watch in the sports subscription streaming service DZN.