His "double life" begins as an infant. His name is Guillermo Morales,
a Puerto Rican born in the United States. He will soon to become Ernesto
Gomez Gomez, eldest brother in a Mexican family. At the age of ten,
Ernesto learns the truth of his existence- that he is the son of Puerto
Rican revolutionaries. His father has found refuge in Cuba while his
mother has been sentenced to a U.S. prison for 55 years.
The complex journey of the teenaged Ernesto/Guillermo takes him from
his home in Chihuahua to the Federal prison near San Francisco, where
he meets his birth mother for the first time. Still grieving over
their separation, she is overjoyed to see her lost son. Reclaiming
his birth name, Guillermo enrolls in a local high school to be near
his mother. During weekly visits, mother and son try to recover some
part of the relationship they never had.
Motivated by his mother's situation and her fierce commitment to her
political convictions, Guillermo involves himself in the movement
to free Puerto Rican Independistas from U.S. jails. He also applies
for and receives American citizenship in effort to fully realize his
The double life of Ernesto Gomez Gomez is a striking self-portrait
of the costs of profound political idealism in one family. It confronts
the issues of adoption, immigration, colonialism, and love merged
into a single mesmerizing teen odyssey. The film combines interviews
and archival footage with more expressionistic sequences in which
Ernesto/Guillermo tries to communicate the feeling of being catapulted
from one reality to another.
Catherine Ryan is an independent producer and director of documentary
films for television. She obtained her M.A. from UC San Diego in Sociology
where she met her filmmaking partner and husband, Gary Weimberg. Ryan
began working in films in 1980 in San Francisco. She received technical
education with Lucas film and worked on films such as "Return of the
Jedi." Ryan also worked at Zoetrope studios as and assistant editor
and later as a sound editor.
Rebecca Levy, Associate Producer
3411 Irving St. San Francisco, CA 94122