By all accounts, Ernesto Gomez Gomez was a happy boy growing up in Chihuahua, Mexico. He did well in school, was popular with his classmates and played in the local Little League. But all that ended the day his parents took him aside and told him his whole life had been a lie.
And for five years, Ernesto tried to ignore his past. When that didn't work, he decided to confront it, setting off on an emotional quest in search of both his true identity and the mother who had abandoned him. His troubled journey of self-discovery will be told tonight at 10 on KCET-TV in "The Double Life of Ernesto Gomez Gomez," a striking self-portrait that not only explores the costs of profound political idealism in one family but that also touches on such issues as immigration, adoption, colonialism and love.
When Ernesto left Mexico for San Francisco to be near his mother, who is serving a 63-year sentence at the federal corrections institution in Dublin, Calif., he was confused and frightened, plagued by apprehension and riddled with self-doubt. For catharsis, he poured out his feelings to filmmakers Gary Weimberg and Catherine Ryan, newfound friends who, at Ernesto's urging, filmed the sessions.