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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, curated by HOLA at Furman University, 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 2020, 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

"I can't tell you how exhausting it is, day in and day out, to be putting cuffs on people who are doing exactly what I would do in their situation."

Listed in Order of Year of Release:

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

"Behind each stall there is a

human story.

Street food gives us identity. We are diverse, color,  and above all, full of life!"

McFarland, USA

A white coach goes to teach at a predominantly Hispanic school and finds potential in some students as runners. He encourages them to use their hidden talent to compete, despite their circumstances.

Genre

Year

Stream on:

Drama, Family,

Sport

2015

Hulu

"No one stays in McFarland unless they have to. There ain't nothing American dream about this place."

The 33

Disaster strikes on Aug. 5, 2010, as a copper and gold mine collapses in Chile, trapping 33 men underground. With more than 2,000 feet of rock in their way, members of a rescue team work tirelessly for 69 days to save the condemned crew. With family, friends and the rest of the world watching, it becomes a race against time and a true test of the human spirit.

Genre

Year

Stream on:

Docudrama, Suspense

2015

Netflix

"We are all ready to get out of here,

or die trying."

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)

"You can't uneducate someone who's learned how to read. You can't humiliate someone who has pride. And you can't oppress someone who is not afraid anymore." 

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."

Underwater Dreams

A documentary about the sons of undocumented Mexican immigrants who develop their own underwater robot, "Stinky." Stinky's technology and some creative troubleshooting lead their team to victory in competition, and to a future of activism and dreams.

Genre

Year

Stream on:

Documentary

2014

Amazon Prime

"No matter what background you come from or where you are, you can do what you set your mind to do."

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."

Are you planning on using our Noches de Cine list in your classroom, event or discussion group? Let us know so that we can share your event or syllabus on our website! Email your plans to Lindsey@HispanicAllianceSC.com.

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Greenville, SC 29606
© 2018 Produced by Hispanic Alliance