This music video is an ode to Puerto Rico. It’s set to Hurray For The Riff Raff’s song “Pa’lante” and depicts the experiences of everyday Puerto Ricans in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.
“Even though it’s a year-old song, the themes and what it deals with resonate, and now they have taken on very strong meaning in the wake of things that have been occurring,” explained director and filmmaker Kristian Mercado Figueroa. “When Hurricane Maria hit, it was like a really scary thing, honestly. There was just like, these horrible 10 days of silence.”
Puerto Rico has persevered in spite of the inadequate response from the U.S. government that contributed to more than 4,600 deaths, according to a Harvard study. And it’s this perseverance that influenced the video’s tone.
“It could have gone so many different ways,” explained one of the video’s actresses Mela Murder. “I mean, it could have been gruesome. ‘Pa’lante’ could’ve been a depiction of death and, like, horrific everything. But you feel such a sense of hope and lightness despite, you know, what's really going on.”
Both Murder and Figueroa are of Puerto Rican descent and this video was a way for them to explore their heritage. They hope their short film will show all Americans what Puerto Rico is going through.