Releasing today in theaters, the new Amazon Studios film A Million Miles Away is as full of heart as our galaxy is full of stars. It’s a remarkably engaging story of the power of one man’s dream and the many ingredients that go into helping that dream come true.
Inspired by the real-life story of NASA flight engineer José Hernández, A Million Miles Away follows him and his devoted family of proud migrant farm worker on a decades-long journey, from a rural village in Michoacán, Mexico, to the fields of the San Joaquin Valley, to more than 200 miles above the Earth in the International Space Station. With the unwavering support of his hard-working parents, relatives, and teachers, José’s unrelenting drive & determination culminates in the opportunity to achieve his seemingly impossible goal. Acclaimed writer and director Alejandra Márquez Abella has created aSource: Amazon Studios
dazzling tribute to the loyalty and tenacity of the entire Hernández family, as well as anyone who dares to dream.
I love movies based on true stories. This one touched my heart deeply since I spent so much of my life living in California’s Central Valley and connecting deeply with men and women whose lives were spent working the land. Michael Peña is fantastic as José Hernandez, the first migrant farmworker to travel to space. Immediately after screening the film, I went to my library queue and placed a hold on Reaching for the Stars: The Inspiring Story of a Migrant Farmworker Turned Astronaut, written by Hernández and Monica Rojas Rubin.
While our attention is squarely focused on José and his mission to attain astronaut status, this film is truly about an entire family’s work to grasp for a better life. Long before we see José striving, we meet his parents and siblings and learn of their willingness to set their own goals aside in order for José to have a chance at the best possible education. There’s a darling love story between José and his lovely bride Adela which also includes their extended families. Ultimately, we see how José, Adela, and their own children become not only part of José’s dreams but Adela’s as well. Along the way, we witness the toll this takes on the entire clan.
A Million Miles Away is the kind of film that not only entertains us but also challenges us to examine our own deeply held aspirations. I found myself pondering the unmet goals I have in my life and asking whether or not I have both the stamina and the imagination to continue to pursue them regardless of the costs. I love this film both for its inspirational message and also for the fact that it is family-friendly entertainment that enables us to watch together and then sit and chat about how this applies to our own stories.
All the more compelling because of its basis in historical events, A Million Miles Away reminds us that with all of the best ingredients, we really can shoot for the stars.
A Million Miles Away is Rated PG for thematic elements and language. The film opens in select theaters on September 8, 2023, and on streaming via Amazon Prime Video on September 15, 2023.