The power of family ties is the subject of American Dreams Deferred, a new film by Steinhardt alumnus William Caballero (MA ’08). The documentary had its world premier at the 2010 New York Latino Film Festival on July 29th.
Set against a backdrop of Coney Island and Fayetteville, North Carolina, the movie takes its title from Langston Hughes’ famous poem, ‘A Dream Deferred,’ in which the Harlem renaissance poet meditates on the future of our unrealized dreams. Turning the camera to his loving Latino family, Caballero sees the great potential that each family member has to fulfill the American dream, as well as the conflicts that prevent each person from achieving his goals.
In the 90-minute feature, Caballero explores the cycle of familiar obligation, “a cycle that has shackled so many others in this family from following their own dreams,” says Louis E. Perego Moreno, the film’s co-producer. In one poignant scene, Caballero’s father, in chronic pain from kidney failure, begs his son to stay behind and take care of him. “We wonder how could a father whose son has graduated from NYU with a graduate degree and such a bright future ahead of him be expected to sacrifice it all and stay behind in Fayetteville,” Louis says.
The bright future ahead is Caballero’s film career.
Photo: William Caballero with his parents at NYU’s 2008 Commencement Ceremony at Yankee Stadium.