Latino Religion Movies In English

Sunday, July 31 by Annmicha Blugh

Latino religion movies in English often portray Roman Catholicism since it has been the long-standing and most popular religion among Latinos. At the same time, Islam, Buddhism and the Occult have also made their imprint in the realm of Latino religious cinema. 

  1. "Santa Sangre" / "Holy Blood." This a Latino religion movie translated to English. This film is named after a cultish and fanatical church, the leader of which amputates his wife's arms and then kills himself. Baptisms are also conducted in red paint, symbolic of blood. Filled with macabre violence and revenge killings, holy blood comes to encapsulate the gory tale of reprisals. 
  2. "La Ultima Cena" / "The Last Supper." This is a Latino religion movie outlining the practice of initiating African slaves into Christianity and Christian ceremonies such as the Communion and observation of the Holy Week. This movie provokes the viewer to think about the imposition of values on slaves as well as the true meaning of fellowship. 
  3. "Un Buda"/ "A Buddha." This Latino religion movie has its objective of leading English-speaking viewers into the spiritual journey of Tomas. His uncertainty of life and the yearning to know his missing father propel Tomas to the road of self-discovery, peace and belonging. He finds these elements among a group of Buddhist monks. The film elucidates on concepts of Buddhism and offers some insight on its values. 
  4. "El crimen del Padre Amaro"/ "The Crime of Father Amaro." This movie is an Anglicized Latino religion movie narrating the fall of Priest Amaro from grace by seduction. A web of communal corruption in a seemingly religious district of Los Reyes in Mexico is uncovered. Ideals become compromised and a breach of faith becomes evident. 
  5. "La Mision" / "The Mission." This film is a religious account of colonialism carried out through the conquistadores (the conquerors) and the Church. A Spanish Jesuit priest presides over a small mission and in the process sees the cruelty and injustice committed against the native Indian population. However, there comes a point where the priest has to place his allegiance with the colonist settlers or the Indians. 
  6. "El Sacerdote" / "The Priest." This cinematic picture is a religiously themed film in which the spectator is allowed entry into the mind of a clergyman. Many temptations beset the ministry of this parish priest mostly carnal desire. Vows of sworn celibacy are eventually eroded as we witness an individual's struggle between his wants and his calling. 
  7. "Entre Tinieblas" / "Dark Habits."  This is another Latino account of religion in a poor, drug-overdosed district. "Dark Habits" is the story of a street girl turned nun who who receives support from a sisterhood at a convent. Bearing some similarity to the "Sister Act" series, this story tells of the possibility of redemption for fallen, street women in a holy haven on the verge of shutting down.  

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           —Annmicha Blugh