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The Top 10 Films to Watch During Hispanic Heritage Month

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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 2021, 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)

The Book of Life

Follow the journey of Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart. Before choosing which path to follow, he embarks on an incredible adventure that spans three fantastical worlds where he must face his greatest fears. 

Genre

Year

Stream on:

Animation, Comedy, Family

2014

Amazon Prime

"The world keeps spinning, and the tales keep turning, and people come and people go, but they're never forgotten. And the one truth we know, it held true one more time... That love, true love, the really, really good kind of love never dies."

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

La Jaula De Oro

The Golden Dream is a 2013 Mexican drama film directed by Spanish-born Mexican director Diego Quemada-Díez - piercing and poetic road movie that follows the fortunes of four Guatemalan teenagers on a dangerous journey across the Mexican border into America. A gritty, realistic account of the journey so many take in search of a better future.

Genre

Year

Stream on:

Drama

2013

Amazon (rental)

"Everything is going to be okay and we'll get to where we want."

Underdogs

A boy conquers the bully of his youth with his incredible talent for foosball. Unable to forget, the vanquished bully returns years to take his revenge, and the young man must now win the most important foosball game of his life. Only now, his entire town is on the line, and his foosball players must rise to life to save him.

Genre

Animation, Comedy, Adventure

Year

Stream on:

2013

Netflix

"I do know that there's a whole world outside of this little town!"

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

"At the end of the day, we can endure much more than we think we can."