A flavor can flood us with memories of a time and place, and we are slammed to that place in the short film, Home Flavored. Monica Mendoza deliciously delivers her sing-song lyrics through spoken-word poetry in English, interwoven with Spanish, in this powerful movie. She transports us to la casa de su tio, her uncle’s house, where she expresses that “sweets are the way to show we care,” with Coca-Cola in a glass bottle as the main character.
The film sweeps across the smiling faces of family around their dinner table as they share stories of home—a home away from their current life in the U.S.—while we see the kitchen landscape peppered not just with traditional Mexican dishes but with an abundance of brightly-colored sugary beverages and high-calorie snacks. Mendoza exposes the harsh health realities of consuming the syrupy elixir and snack foods, affordable at the corner store with labels many can barely read. Realizing that food and beverage companies are targeting people of color in their advertising and packaging, Mendoza declares, “We swallow cups of nostalgia that isn’t even from our own country… Our tongues have been colonized with the belief that this cup of Coke is from home.” Ultimately, her lyrical journey takes us to the realization that there is no need to look for home in plates and cups; rather, we can find home in the stories and laughter shared around the table.