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We went to see the movie McFarland, USA, and if you haven’t seen it, I’d highly recommend you go. Produced by Disney, McFarland, USA is the quintessential American Dream Story, with a Hispanic twist.

The film is based on the true story of a small Central California high school coach, teaching in McFarland, California, one of the poorest towns in the school district. Coach Jim White, played by Kevin Costner, built a running dynasty with a group of Mexican immigrant students and transformed them into a cross-country running team that won the 1987 CIS Cross County Championship for the McFarland High School.

This is a feel-good story that will have you rooting for the underdog, which is in many respects, the entire community of McFarland. The town is mainly composed of immigrant farm workers, whose children work in the fields beside their parents from dawn until school opens and then go back to the fields after school to harvest more crops until sunset. Child labor begins early in the fields, often at age 10 or 11

Outside Online interviewed American cross-country legend Craig Virgin about the accuracy of the story.  Even though Disney took a few liberties with the real story to cram the events, which happened over a number of years, into a single school season, Virgin said the story was pretty spot on. As a farm boy working on his family’s farm, he had very similar experiences while he trained for cross-country.

Want to know more about the story that inspired the movie? Check out the original article published in the LA Times. (The story was initially published in the LA Times.)

Whatever you do, don’t miss this great, family oriented movie.