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Films to Watch During Hispanic Heritage Month

Groundbreaking film can serve many purposes. It entertains, educates, inspires, and informs our view of the world. It reorients us to greater truths. The camera’s lens bypasses our conscious defenses by placing us within the story and allowing us to experience it on a nearly visceral level - forcing us to reconcile this experience with our current views. 

 

With this list, we wish to make this transformation available to all South Carolinians, with a focus on Hispanic and Latinx cultural heritage. We include movies in Spanish and English from all eras, including documentaries, fantastical tales, and untold histories. The Noches de Cine Top 10 were chosen for their superior ability to elevate the perception of Hispanic/Latinx art, to inspire constructive dialogue on relevant issues,  and to bring a rich three-dimensional understanding to our flat stereotypes of these diverse cultures and the immigrant experience, in particular.

Use Noches de Cine to guide your community’s celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month, as part of an educational curriculum, or for your own journey towards greater compassion and understanding through art.

Immigration Nation

A deep look at the state of U.S. immigration, utilizing unprecedented access to ICE operations and moving portraits of immigrants. This documentary cuts through rhetoric to give voice to the unfiltered perspectives of ICE agents and deportees alike.

Genre

Year

Stream on:

Serial Documentary

2020

Netflix

Street Food Latin America

The best of the food and travel genres combine for a delicious and extravagant journey through the cuisine of Latin America. Taste the culinary heritage of Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, and Bolivia.

Genre

Year

Stream on:

Serial Documentary

2020

Netflix

Coco

Despite his family's generations-old ban on music, young Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead.

Genre

Year

Stream on:

Animation, Comedy, Family

2017

Disney+

Vivo

A music-loving kinkajou embarks on the journey of a lifetime to fulfill his destiny and deliver a love song for an old friend.

Genre

Year

Stream on:

Animation, Comedy, Family

2021

Netflix

César Chávez: An American Hero

Famed labor organizer and civil-rights activist Cesar Chavez (Michael Peña) is torn between his duty to his family and his commitment to securing a living wage for farm workers.

Genre

Year

Stream on:

2014

Docudrama

YouTube (free)

Prayers for the Stolen

In a mountainous region of Mexico where poppies abound, three girls take refuge in their friendship to cope with the trials brought on by a drug cartel.

Genre

Year

Stream on:

Movies Based on Books

2021

Netflix

Under the Same Moon

Single mother Rosario leaves her young son Carlitos in the care of his grandmother and illegally crosses the border into the U.S. Though she hopes to eventually make a better life for herself and her son, she toils in a dead-end job as a cleaning lady in Los Angeles. When Carlitos' grandmother passes away some years later, the boy begins a difficult and dangerous journey to join her.

Genre

Year

Stream on:

Documentary

2014

Amazon Prime

El Rey Vicente Fernandez

From his humble upbringing to stardom, Mexican music icon Vicente Fernández's whirlwind of a life and career is recounted over multiple decades.

Genre

Year

Stream on:

Musical & Drama

2022

Netflix

Encanto

“Encanto” tells the tale of an extraordinary family, the Madrigals, who live hidden in the mountains of Colombia, in a magical house, in a vibrant town, in a wondrous, charmed place called an Encanto. 

Genre

Animation,

Year

Stream on:

2021

Disney +

Frida

Salma Hayek produces and stars in a dramatic biography of the life of Mexican art icon Frida Kahlo, who channeled the pain of a crippling injury and her tempestuous marriage into her work.

Genre

Drama, Romance

Year

Stream on:

2002

Netflix

Como Caído del Cielo

To earn his place in heaven, legendary Mexican actor-singer Pedro Infante is sent back to Earth in an impersonator's body to mend his womanizing ways.

Genre

Comedy

Year

Stream on:

2019

Netflix

Gentefied

The Morales cousins scramble to save their grandfather's taco shop — and pursue their own dreams — as gentrification shakes up their LA neighborhood.

Genre

Comedy

Year

Stream on:

2020

Netflix

In the Heights

A film version of the Broadway musical in which Usnavi, a sympathetic New York bodega owner, saves every penny every day as he imagines and sings about a better life.

Genre

Musical

Year

Stream on:

2021

Disney +, Amazon, Youtube

On My Block

In a rough Los Angeles neighborhood, four smart, funny and streetwise teens find their lifelong friendship tested as they begin high school.

Genre

Comedy, Drama,

Teen Show

Year

Stream on:

2018

Netflix

In the Heights

A film version of the Broadway musical in which Usnavi, a sympathetic New York bodega owner, saves every penny every day as he imagines and sings about a better life.

Genre

Musical

Year

Stream on:

2021

Disney +, Youtube, Amazon

Halftime

Global superstar Jennifer Lopez reflects on her multifaceted career and the pressure of life in the spotlight in this intimate documentary.

Genre

Documentary

Year

Stream on:

2022

Netflix