These masterful historical movies about Latin Americans feature award winning dramas that chronicle the lives and sometimes tragic deaths of some of Latin America’s most legendary figures. From Academy Award winning films like “The Sea Inside” to provocative documentaries like “Carmen Miranda: Bananas is my Business,” these films feature standout performances by acclaimed actors like Javier Bardem and Gael Garcia Bernal and capture not only the iconic characters they depict, but also the stunning Latin American locales in which they lived.

  1. “Evita” One of the most elaborate historical movies about Latin Americans ever filmed, this visually stunning musical about the life and times of Argentinean First Lady Eva Peron was adapted from the award-winning play by legendary composers Andrew Lloyd Webber and Time Rice. Directed by iconic American filmmaker Alan Parker, this film features stirring musical numbers and career-defining performances by Antonio Banderas and Madonna.

  2. “The Motorcycle Diaries” A sweeping biopic about the early life of Marxist revolutionary Che Guevara, this film is one of the best historical movies about Latin Americans produced in the past decade and stars Gael Garcia Bernal as Guevara. Featuring stunning cinematography and exceptional performances by Beranl and singer-actress Mia Maestro, this film won a number of prestigious awards including a BAFTA for Best Film not in the English Language.

  3. “The Sea Inside” One of the most successful films in the history of Spanish cinema, this film chronicles the emotional struggles of Ramon Sampedro, a quadriplegic who fought 29 years for the right to end his own life. The film won an Academy Award in 2005 for Best Foreign Film and features a career-defining performance by Spanish actor Javier Bardem.

  4. “Frida” This 2002 biopic about the life and times of Mexican painter Frida Kahlo is one of the best historical movies about Latin Americans in recent years. The film features stunning cinematography by Indie filmmaker Julie Taymor, as well as an Academy Award nominated performance by Selma Hayek as Kahlo and a standout performance by character actor Alfred Molina as Kahlo’s husband, muralist Diego Rivera.

  5. “El Compadre Mendoza” This landmark 1933 film is quite possibly one of the best historical movies about Latin Americans in film history and tells the story of Rosalio Mendoza, a man who makes favors for both the government and Zapata’s Army during the Mexican Revolution. Legendary Chilean actor Alfredo del Diestro gives a standout performance as Mendoza, particularly near the end of the film as Mendoza’s dark side surfaces when he is forced to chose a side.

  6. “Carlos” This gripping film about Venezuelan terrorist Carlos the Jackal was first aired as a television miniseries. Produced by IFC Films, the movie won a number of film awards in 2010 and features and impressive performance by Edgar Ramirez as the titular bomber.

  7. “Little Ashes” An emotional drama about the complicated friendship between painter Salvador Dali, filmmaker Luis Bunuel and poet Federico Garcia Lorca, this 2009 film is one of the best historical movies about Latin Americans to be produced in the last decade. This sweeping epic delivers incredible cinematography and amazing performances by an uncharacteristic Robert Pattinson as Dali and Javier Beltran as Lorca.

  8. “The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca” Chronicling the life and murder of the acclaimed Spanish poet, this 1997 gem features a powerful, moving story about a journalist’s search for the truth behind Lorca’s disappearance amid the Spanish Civil War in 1936. Compelling and heartbreaking, this film delivers standout performances by Esai Morales and Andy Garcia as the titular poet.

  9. “Camila” This captivating 1984 drama about the life and untimely death of Argentinean socialite Camila O’Gorman was nominated for an Academy Award in 1985 for Best Foreign Film. A deeply moving and though provoking film, “Camila” features incredible performances by Susu Pecoraro as Camila and Imanol Arias as her husband, Father Ladislao Gutierrez.

  10. “Carmen Miranda: Bananas is my Business” This eye opening documentary about the life and times of Brazilian singer-actress Carmen Miranda features film clips and interviews with Miranda’s friends and relatives. The film features interviews with an number of famous actors including Rita Moreno and Cesar Romero, all of whom give stunning insight into the personality and troubled relationships of the iconic Latin American performer.

-Joshua Wade