Angel and Big Joe. This 70s sociodrama features a teenage Hispanic boy who befriends a lonely telephone lineman. The boy is a child of migrant workers and he lives in grinding poverty with his mother and younger siblings in a shack next to the tomato fields they just harvested. His family is waiting for a call from his father, who has gone on to Texas to look for work. Angel befriends Big Joe after Joe fixes the pay phone that the family is waiting for the call to come in on. Angel is desperate to do any kind of work to help out his family, and he eventually convinces Joe to hire him to do odd jobs on his property. A friendship slowly develops between them, as Angel discovers that Joe is a divorced man whose grown son left to join the Navy, leaving him to a solitary existence. Joe had planned to build a greenhouse with his son and start a business raising flowers, but that was abandoned when the son joined the Navy. Eventually, Joe rekindles this dream, having Angel help him build the greenhouse. They raise a crop of roses together and get a good profit for them. At this point, though, Angel’s mother finally gets a call from his father and plans to take the family to join him in Texas. When he tells Big Joe, Joe encourages him to stay and be his business partner, offering to let him live in his house with him. This leaves Angel with a very difficult decision to make: does he stay with Joe and help him with his business, which he enjoys, or does he support his family by going with them to Texas to do more migrant labor, which he hates? This film was made to encourage classroom discussion about the issues it raises. It is quite touching and real; you feel like Angel and Big Joe are real people with real problems. This is a good example of the increasing sophistication educational films developed after the social changes of the 60s. Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: N/A. Weirdness: **. Historical Interest: ****. Overall Rating: ****.

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