“PacoimaStories: Land of Dreams” is an epic documentary-film about the untold history of a small town in Los Angeles, whose incredible story defines what has become of the American dream. It tells of a place where struggle, sacrifice and undying human spirit have converged for hundreds of years and that place is called Pacoima.
Founded in 1891, Pacoima is one of LA's oldest towns. However its history has been mostly overlooked by American historians. This riviting new film peels back the layers of time revealing a story like no other.
The history of Pacoima dates back to 450 AD when the Fernandeno- Tataviam tribe called this land “Pacoinga Village”. This group of Native Americans thrived until European conquerors largely wiped out the tribe and enslaved them at the San Fernando Mission.
This powerful documentary traces the earliest history of Pacoima and the cities incredible growth. Pacoima became the American dream for some and the American nightmare for others. Two communities, African American and Mexican American, who were conflicted at times but joined forces in times of discord to fight the challenges of living the American dream.
“PacoimaStories: Land of Dreams” is written and directed by independent filmmaker Crystal Jackson, whose family came to Pacoima in 1935. She reveals the towns’ struggles through the 80’s and 90 when drugs, gangs and guns hijacked the community. Most importantly how they fought to retake their town, by forging a new educational model for their children that has reshaped the entire city.
The film features a notable cast of Pacoimians including US Congressman Tony Cardenas, who discusses growing up Pacoima, USC Football All-American Anthony Davis, talking about his years at San Fernando High School, Comedian Gilbert Esquivel, who shares his struggles to get out of gang life and Dr. Yvonne Chan, Founding President of the Vaughn International Studies Academy in Pacoima.
“PacoimaStories” also features a rare look at Pacoima's most celebrated icon Ritchie Valens. People that knew Ritchie tell stories about the legendary singer and his impact, including R&B Singer Howard Huntsberry, a Pacoima native, who played the role of Jackie Wilson in the Ritchie Valens movie “La Bamba”.
Running Time: 119 Minutes
Produced by Lon Grandison-Muqaddin, Crystal Jackson, Lance Grandison