Michoacán to Michigan is a compelling documentary telling the story of Valeriano and Martina Fraga’s journey from the Mexican city of Morelia, in the state of Michoacán, located in western Mexico to the “Thumb” area in the state of Michigan. In 1919, due to unrest and turmoil including serious personal threats, in Mexico during the period around the Mexican Revolution, they left their home country to seek safety and stability in America. 2019 marks the 100th anniversary of their family’s crossing.
To celebrate 100 years of the Fraga family in this country, Michoacán to Michigan was shown at a special one-time screening on Sunday, Oct. 13, 2019, at the Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA) Detroit Film Theatre (DFT). The event was free and open to the public and was viewed by a capacity crowd over 1,000.
“The documentary tells the story that resonates with many people of their family’s origins/roots and Mexican American heritage, or simply understand the meaning of starting their lives over,” said Len Radjewski, producer and grandson to Valeriano and Martina Fraga.
Audio recordings (both Spanish and English) of Martina and Valeriano are used to tell their own story, with additional onscreen narratives from two of their sons, Martin and Dan Fraga. Their grand-children, Annemarie and Ralph Valdez provide the voiceover narration. The prologue is provided by Frances (Esperanza) Fraga Valdez, the eldest daughter of Martina and Valeriano. She and her brother, John (Erasmo) were born in Mexico and were with their parents on their journey from Mexico to the United States.
Highlights and accomplishments of the Fraga Family and their contributions to society throughout the past century convey the legacy of Martina and Valeriano’s brave journey.
Music by the renowned Mexican American singer/songwriter Tish Hinojosa is featured in the film’s soundtrack.