This immigrant odyssey is the story of a woman who left her life in the Dominican Republic in the early 1980s for the South-side of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Despite difficulty and temptation, she upheld her dignity and her pursuit of the American dream.
El Regreso Way is the story of Doña Ana, a Dominican woman who emigrated to America in the early 1980's to provide her children and herself with a better life. It is a story as old as this country, a story that with each new chapter, with each retelling reveals America to itself, and shines a light into those dark places where both our ideals and our cherished myths often lay undisturbed, uninvestigated.
In one sense, El Regreso Way is like many immigrant stories of survival on one’s own terms. Doña Ana continually was faced with a choice between something she felt was good, and something evil. Whether you’re an immigrant as I am, or a native, these are themes we all must deal with in our lives. And Doña Ana, like so many of her fellow Dominican immigrants, jumped to the unknown with little else but a somewhat naive faith that a higher power would eventually make things right. In some ways, the film suggests to me that things do turn out all right for her. But then again, that depends on your perspective of what’s “right.” Her success is not so obvious. She is not surrounded by the signals of comfort: wealth, fame, family, love… what she does have, almost all she has, is her story. On that alone, we must interpret her “success.” Of course, interpreting her story is perhaps a quiet, small way – an angle – into interpreting the American story.