The Oscars delivered much more than what we cinephiles bargained for. It wasn’t all Neil Patrick Harris in his undies and Travolta’s Idina face obsession; yesterday the Oscars made actual history. Best Picture, Best Director and Best Original Screenplay went to Birdman, which was written and directed by Latino Alejandro González Iñárritu. This is the second year in a row a Latino director took home the Best Director Oscar (Alfonso Cuarón won his for Gravity last year), and this was the first time Latinos were recognized at the Oscars for an impressive number of categories. Though the Sean Penn’s green card joke rubbed some people wrong, Latinos were unexpectedly recognized yesterday at what is possibly the most “white washed” of Hollywood ceremonies. To celebrate Birdman’s wins and this Latino recognition, we have a list of Latino films you should check out. All streaming on Netflix and featuring either a Latino cast, writing team or director, these films celebrate a moment of film history that POC should cheer about.
Entre Nos (2009)
This biopic follows the life of a hard working Colombian single mother who comes to America with her young two children. Trying to survive the streets of New York, Entre Nos introduces you to the many hardships and accomplishments Marianna (Paoloa Mendoza) goes through, so to provide her children with a better life, and possibly reunite the family with the children’s father. Director Michael Skolink took this incredible story with a phenomenal Latino cast and transformed it into a feel-good hit that was critically acclaimed by many, including the Tribeca Film Festival.
Written and directed by Argentinian filmmaker Adrian Biniez, this comedy tells an unlikely love story that is both creepy and hilarious. Set in Uruguay, a supermarket security guard (Horacio Camandule) falls in love with the supermarket cleaning lady, and does what any love stricken man would do- follows her. And spies on her. And thinks about her, a lot. Adorable and pushing boundaries a bit, Gigante you won’t help but relate to just how in love some people can be with strangers.
Amores Perros (2000)
Considered a classic in Latin film, Amores Perros has been widely named the “Mexican Pulp Fiction.” Following the stories of a variety of character, Amores Perros smartly intersects these stories, presenting an overall outlook on topics including drugs, sex, and animal abuse. This film also happens to be directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu, so you know you’re in good hands.
Infancia Clandestina (2011)
Argentinian film Infancia Clandestina (Clandestine Childhood) is a historical drama that also plays as a history lesson. Set in Argentina’s Dirty War period, two married guerrilla soldiers try to survive in Cuba with their children, under new identities. Ranked the 8th most seen film in Argentina, Infancia Clandestina grants audiences a glimpse into a war period that is hardly talked about in North America.
Pecados de Mi Padre (2009)
This documentary isn’t for the weary. Following the crimes of notorious drug lord Pablo Escobar, Pecados de Mi Padre (Sins of my Father) focuses on the perspective of his son, who is trying to live a normal life in Argentina. Escobar, who now goes by the name Sebastian Marroquin, recounts living in his father’s shadow and crimes, and how his famed drug lord father acted whenever he was actually home.