Abelardo de la Peña Jr.

I approach el Cinco de Mayo with excitement and ambivalence.

I learned the history of the Battle of Puebla as the son of proud Mexicans, who happened to be immigrants. The story goes: On the fifth of May 1862, a small Mexican army kicks French butt. Bueno.

My dad and grandmother worked at the Cinco de Mayo restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway in a small L.A. harbor town. My association with the day is food, drink, familia, history, cultura. [Mas…]


It was a hot afternoon, much like today. Walking into the cool darkness of East Side Luv in Boyle Heights was a relief. It was crowded, about two dozen people milling about, some busy setting up recording equipment, others huddled in small groups. Waiting. It was “media day” for Water & Power, which comes out today.

I’d watched the movie the night before in a small screening room somewhere in Hollywood. Dark, unsettling, violent, suspenseful, heartbreaking, redemptive … I had questions, but so did everybody else.

I was finally called over, and before long, the movie’s writer and director Richard Montoya and Edward James Olmos, the film’s presenter, were seated in front of me. I had 15 minutes, more or less.

Abelardo de la Peña Jr. (AdlpJr): What got you involved in Water and Power?

Edward James Olmos (EJO): The single most important thing about movies: The script, the story, the writing. Richard is a genius. Go watch the movie. You watch the movie, and you see, all of a sudden … [Mas…]

I approach el Cinco de Mayo with excitement and ambivalence.

I learned the history of the Battle of Puebla as the son of proud Mexicans, who happened to be immigrants. The story goes: On the fifth of May 1862, a small Mexican army kicks French butt. Bueno.

My dad and grandmother worked at the Cinco de Mayo restaurant on Pacific Coast Highway in a small L.A. harbor town. My association with the day is food, drink, familia, history, cultura. [Mas…]