by Daniela Morales
It is a time for celebration! Whether you’re Latine yourself or want to learn more about Latine culture, this non-exhaustive list of easy-to-find movies can help you dip your toes in Latin American cinema.
“Ya no estoy aquí” / “I’m No Longer Here” by Fernando Frías
This character portrait of a teenager from Monterrey, Mexico, immerses the viewer in the Cumbia subculture he’s a part of, while giving insight into what it means to be undocumented in the US. Through its striking cinematography and dance scenes, Frías delivers a movie that remains in the mind even after watching. You can watch the movie on Netflix.
“Relatos salvajes” / “Wild Tales” by Damián Szifron
In this Argentinian dark comedy, Szifron explores different scenarios in which people choose to follow their darkest impulses. He collects six stories bound by this common theme into a feature film that will have you laugh while being on the edge of your seat. You can find this movie on Amazon Prime.
“Vuelven” / “Tigers are not Afraid” by Issa López
“Vuelven” is a frightening look at the reality of a small town in Mexico, where the state is barely present and the ones running the place are narcos. López explores this reality through the point of view of an eight-year-old girl whose mom disappeared one day, forcing her to seek shelter with a band of kids with a similar background. By mixing fantasy and realism, López brings awareness to the reality kids like the characters in the movie face. You can find this movie on Amazon Prime.
“La estrategia del caracol” / “The Strategy of the Snail” by Sergio Cabrera
Cabrera portrays a part of Colombian society through this witty and clever film. It follows the struggle of a community of neighbors to stay in their building and retain their dignity against the government and the businessman behind it. You can find this movie with English subtitles for free on Youtube.
“Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho / The Way He Looks” by Daniel Ribeiro
If you’re in the mood for some teenage love, this is the movie for you. Ribeiro brings to life the relationship between a blind teenager seeking independence and the new kid at school through bicycle rides and tutoring sessions. You can find this movie on Amazon Prime.