Greatness runs in the Miranda genes. We all know the stupendous Lin-Manuel Miranda as being nothing short of a living legend. He’s a Pulitzer Prize, Grammy, Emmy and Tony award-winning artist, playwright, lyricist, composer and creator of the renowned Broadway musicals Hamilton and In the Heights. Well, it’s clear to see that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree as Lin-Manuel Miranda has the best role model to emulate and look up to – his genius father, Luis A. Miranda Jr.
In HBO’s new documentary, Siempre, Luis, directed by the talented John James, fans all over the world are welcomed into the life of the admirable Luis A. Miranda Jr., a pioneering activist and father of three, and his decades-long fight for Latino communities. The documentary showcases Luis A. Miranda Jr.’s tenacity, his unwavering dedication and efforts to help Latinos, his trials and tribulations and just how incredibly relentless he is.
Hailing from Vega Alta, Puerto Rico, Miranda Jr. set out to New York City in the 1970s. In the Big Apple, the truly remarkable Miranda Jr. continued his quest to help Latinos and begin his political journey. He served as a special advisor to Mayor Ed Koch and became the Director of the Mayor’s Office for Hispanic Affairs. In 1990, he founded the Hispanic Federation, the nation’s premier Latino non-profit membership organization empowering and advancing the Hispanic community. Luis A. Miranda Jr. also served as a consultant for political campaigns for figures including Hillary Clinton and Charles Schumer.
Needless to say, the influential Miranda Jr. has made a great impact in the lives of Latinos, and he continues to do just that. In fact, as seen in the documentary, Siempre, Luis, Miranda Jr. teamed up with his son to bring the highly-acclaimed, fan-favorite musical, Hamilton to Puerto Rico in order to raise money to help with the devastation that occurred after hurricanes had ravaged the beautiful island. Not only did they bring more musical magic to Puerto Rico, but the Mirandas raised a whopping 15 million to help with disaster relief efforts.
HBO hosted a special virtual premiere for Siempre, Luis on September 30, 2020. A live conversation took place online with the inspiring Luis A. Miranda Jr., his son, the mastermind Lin-Manuel Miranda and director John James, moderated by the founder of Latina Magazine and film producer, Christy Haubegger.
“If we hadn’t gone with Siempre, Luis as the title, we would have gone with “Relentless” as the title of the film,” said James. “When I asked to follow [Luis A. Miranda Jr.], I think part of him saying ‘yes’ was ‘well, this is something JJ wants to do and I want to support JJ.’ And so, he let me follow him. We didn’t really know where the story was going to go, but we just knew the man, we believed in the man, the moral fiber, the conscience, the intelligence. It was kind of all there in hindsight.”
It’s clear to see that Miranda Jr. has accomplished more than what 10 people combined can do in a lifetime, but his work doesn’t stop there and continues now more than ever.
“Every time something bad happens to Latinos in the country, most recently how COVID-19 has hit us harder than many other communities, stuff like that serves as an engine, as the gas, to keep me going,” said Miranda Jr. during the live panel discussion. “Wrongs to be righted and we need to do everything we can to go to the root of the problem, which is the leadership in the country at this point.”
An unstoppable spirit is part of the Mirandas’ being. “By observing my parents in action, [I learned] the things that you care about should take up your work, it should be your priority,” said Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Alexisjoyvipaccess had the honor of attending the virtual premiere for Siempre, Luis and this documentary will completely move you from start to finish.
Siempre, Luis is a documentary about a man who will do everything in his power to help his community, and it shows us all that we need to put our words into actions and do the same.
Watch Siempre, Luis out now on HBO and HBO Max.