A girl poised on the brink of adolescence finds herself shouldering a whole new set of responsibilities in this made-for-TV drama based on the autobiographical book by Esmeralda Santiago. In 1961, Mami Santiago (Wanda De Jesus) decides to leave her life in a Puerto Rican farming community behind and move herself and her six children to New York City in search of a better life -- and better medical care for her ailing son. Mami's oldest daughter, Esmerelda (Ana Maria Lagasca) -- Negi for short -- not only has trouble adapting to her new environment, but doesn't quite fit in at her new school, where she's lumped in with other Spanish speaking students with whom she shares no common culture. Negi's burden is intensified by the fact her mother and siblings are counting on her to learn English and serve as the family's interpreter. One of Negi's teachers senses her creative gifts and arranges for her to audition for the Performing Arts School in Manhattan, but as Negi struggles to learn a monologue in a new language she has yet to master, she isn't sure if she has what it takes to make the grade. Esmeralda Santiago penned the screenplay for Almost A Woman from her own memoir; the film was first broadcast as part of the award-winning PBS anthology series Masterpiece Theater.
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