West Side Story: a remake of immigrants

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The remake of West Side Story starring a Colombian and directed by Steven Spielberg will talk about Latino immigrants in the United States

West Side Story: a remake of immigrants

The musical West Side Story from 1961 and directed by Robert Wise and Jerome Robbins, will have a remake that is projected to be a film directed by the prestigious Steven Spielberg.

The film will be starred by the actress of Colombian origin, Rachel Zegler, which is perfect to bring to the debate issues that still matter today for the migrant community in the United States, such as racism, social segregation, and the migratory crisis.

Leer en español: West Side Story: un remake sobre los inmigrantes

A new look for the musical

Different media outlets were waiting for the election of Steven Spielberg for the leading role of the remake of West Side Story after thirty thousand people auditioned to obtain the part.

It was a surprise that the actress of Colombian parents,  who only was knew because of her cover channel on YouTube so far, was chosen as the protagonist, who will play the role of Maria in the musical.

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"West Side Story was the first musical that I found with a Latina protagonist. As a Colombian-American, I feel honored by the opportunity to play a role that means so much to the Hispanic community ," said Rachel Zegler on her Instagram account after hearing about the election of the famous director.

"I'm so happy to have put together a cast that reflects the amazing depth of talent in the multi-faceted Hispanic community in the United States," Spielberg told Deadline. "I am amazed at the strength of the talent of these young performers, and I think they will bring a new and electrifying energy to a magnificent musical that is more relevant than ever," he added.

In this way, Zegler is not the only Latina in the cast of the film. The cast, announced by Fox, is composed of Puerto Ricans Ariana DeBose and Josh Andrés Rivera, along with Cuban David Álvarez.

This love story is based on the script of Pulitzer winner Tony Kushner. For now, the film is in the process of preproduction, but it is expected that we can see the results by the end of 2019.

West Side Story , a story of today

The 1961 film was set at the present time, counting the violent disputes that white gangs had against Puerto Ricans in a New York neighborhood where racism and the American dream clashed with the different forms of life adopted.

Resembling Shakespeare's 'Romeo and Juliet', the love of Maria (Rachel Zegler), the Latina and Tony (Ansel Elgort), the white American, will understand the center of a gang dispute over the intersocial mix of what was presumed in those times were a forbidden love; whites with whites, Latinos with Latinos, never mixed, what today and after almost 60 years is a subject of deep consideration.

Whitney Williams of Variety magazine, describes the musical as a "beautifully mounted, impressive, violent and full of emotions that, in its most rigid approach, discarded an airy social problem that can set a reflective precedent for future generations."

Thus, the remake of the musical is an accurate opportunity to bring to the collective mind, issues about social segregation and racism in times where we still need it at the top of the debate and reflection.


LatinAmerican Post | Jorge Becerra

Translated from "West Side Story: un remake sobre los inmigrantes "

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