List

Perspectives of Hispanic Heritage on Screen

By Skokie Staff Adult Services

This list represents only a small selection of the great diversity of themes, perspective, and genres of Hispanic and Latinx filmmaking and television, but it is a great selection to get you started.

  • Of Mind and Music

    2016

    Raw, beautiful, moving, and hopeful, this film will touch your heart in more ways than one. Based on a true story, with spectacular performances by the cast and outstanding music, this is definitely a must-watch. Recommended by Penny.

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  • Roma

    2020

    Written and directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Y Tu Mamá También), who also served as cinematographer. Filmed in black and white, it is a beautiful movie. Focusing on a middle class family and their maid/nanny, Cleo, played by first-time actor Yalitza Aparicio, the story is personal and semi-autobiographical, set in 1970 and 1971, in a neighborhood in Mexico City. If anything, this is a tribute to the woman who raised Cuarón. She is central and beloved to the family, especially to the children. Yet, she is the hired help. Although the plot is slow-paced, a lot happens to Cleo and the troubled family. The film received 10 Academy Award nominations, including Best Foreign Language Film (from Mexico, in Spanish and Mixtec), Best Director, Best Cinematographer, Best Picture, Best Actress, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Original Screenplay. It won for Best Cinematography, Best Director, and Best Foreign Language Film. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Mosquita & Mari

    2013

    Set in Southeast Los Angeles, this emotionally charged coming-of-age story focuses on a pair of Latina teens whose new friendship takes an unexpected path as they navigate complex feelings of mutual attraction against the realities of their situation. Released in 2013, it remains just as timely as ever. Filmmaker Aurora Guerrero and her actors deliver a delicate cinematic gem. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • East Side Sushi

    2016

    Charming, warm, and filled with endearing performances, this movie tackles issues of gender discrimination, diversity, determination, and family values in a way that is bright and hopeful. The story follows Juana, a single mother, who pursues her dream of being a sushi chef against all odds. Recommended by Paul.

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  • Everybody Loves Somebody

    2017

    Take a trip to Los Angeles and Mexico with this independent, romantic comedy movie—you will get a lot of gorgeous scenery. The characters are smart and relatable. While this follows a familiar rom-com formula, it is also refreshing for its splendid cast and positive representation. Recommended by Sharon and Penny.

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  • Dolores

    2018

    A civil rights hero, labor organizer, activist, and feminist, she is an inspiration to many. Yet for the most part, Dolores Huerta has been excluded from history. This documentary brings you closer to an amazing woman--her tireless work, fearless commitment, and why she never gave up. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • The Holy Girl

    2005

    I honestly don't know of a more exciting, innovative filmmaker currently working than Lucrecia Martel. "Greatest living filmmaker" may seem like hyperbole, but to quote film scholar David Oubiña, Martel's body of work has, from the beginning, "radiated perfection." Recommended by Chris.

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  • Raising Victor Vargas

    2019

    A big-hearted crowd-pleaser of a movie, this rom-com takes place in an early aughts Dominican neighborhood in New York City and is filled with winning performances--especially scene-stealer Altagracia Guzman. Recommended by Chris.

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  • Chavela

    2018

    In this captivating documentary, you meet the enigmatic singer Chavela, who broke barriers and defied conventions, becoming a beloved icon for the LGBTQ community in Mexico and beyond. Her performances reinterpreted traditional ranchera music with a soul searching cathartic effect. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Jane the Virgin: The Complete First Season

    2015

    Playful, romantic, and exciting--this telenovela has a little of everything. It shows a sharp sense of humor and sincere family dynamics. Gina Rodriguez as the title character leads a terrific cast through five seasons. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Buena Vista Social Club: Adios

    2017

    A sequel of sorts to the 1999 Oscar-winning documentary, Buena Vista Social Club. This 2017 doc follows members of the Cuban band Buena Vista Social Club as they get ready to tour, which brings them to the U.S. for a historic performance at the White House for President Obama. I love that their music touched so many lives. I also enjoyed learning about the history and roots of Son cubano, how they got started decades ago, and remembering those who passed away since. It makes a great double feature with the first film and you’ll certainly want to check out their albums. Recommended by Sharon.

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  • Y Tu Mamá También

    Alfonso Cuarón had already been skirting between Mexico and Hollywood films prior to this 2001 release, though this was what put him on the map. One of the best road-trip movies ever made, it's beautifully hilarious, romantic, and ribald as well as a one-of-a-kind coming of age film. Recommended by Chris.

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  • Real Women Have Curves

    2003

    Directed by Patricia Cardoso and starring America Ferrera in her feature movie debut, this coming-of-age dramedy was one of the most influential independent films of the 2000s. It was selected for preservation by the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 2019, and Cardoso became the first Latina director to be included in the NFR. Recommended by Sharon.

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