Juan Aquino wasn't planning to come to the U.S., but after witnessing his father's murder and watching his mother die from cancer two years later, he was forced to provide for his family. His journey began at the young age of fourteen.
The boundaries of Juan's life and what they encompass reads more like an ancient epic of morality rather than a modern day story of immigration, poverty, violence and corruption. Yet this is a contemporary narrative amidst the U.S. immigration debate that also confronts taboo issues and explores how we as people judge one another.
Juan's voyage of survival through Mexico and the hell that was south central Los Angeles in the mid-eighties eventually lands him in Hawaii, where he faces a whole new set of challenges and confronts the myth of island paradise. However, through his trial and tribulations, what he finds on the islands is his true calling and talents on the golf course. His perfect golf swing, indirectly taught to him by his father while hacking sugar cane with a machete, now has purpose.
This cinematic tale contains unpredictable twists and turns. What starts out as an inspirational story of migration, finding one's home, and a man's love and dedication to his family, moves into a realm fit for an audience of sports enthusiasts. Ultimately, Juan's narrative embodies the taboo and politics when he is falsely accused of a crime. At this point, the line between protagonist and antagonist becomes blurred, forcing the reader to question their evaluation of Juan's character.