The new film A Million Miles Away tells the remarkable true story of José Hernández, a migrant worker, who picked produce in the fields of central California, before succeeding in his dream to become a NASA astronaut.
Hernández tells ABC Audio that he hopes the film, which debuts Friday, September 15 on Prime Video, will show people that he didn’t, and couldn’t, achieve his dream on his own.
“It was a communal effort, family effort that got me there,” he explains. “That’s why it’s going to resonate so much, because they’re going to see so much of themselves in this picture. And hopefully we change the perception of what an Hispanic family is like growing up here in America.”
Hernández says a key factor in accomplishing his dreams, was putting into action his father’s five step recipe for success: “Determine your purpose in life. Recognize how far you are. And then draw yourself a plan, a roadmap so you know how to get there. Prepare yourself according to the challenge. Develop a work ethic second to none.”
“And my ingredient, the sixth one, is perseverance,” he adds. “Never, ever give up on yourself.”
Crucial to the film’s authenticity was the direction of Mexican filmmaker Alejandra Marquez Abella, who did a great job of highlighting the pride of migrant farmworking, “a[n] honorable job … a noble job,” according to Hernández. “[A]s my father said … you’re bringing food to the tables of everybody in the world. And you should never be afraid of that or ashamed of that.”
Appropriately, the film debuts at the beginning of Hispanic Heritage Month, ” … a celebration of the accomplishments of a lot of people that come before us [and a] reminder … for our younger kids that anything is possible if you really put the work in.”
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