Hispanic Heritage Movies

Monday, August 8 by Annmicha Blugh

Hispanic heritage movies represent the history, language and culture of life in Hispanic countries or retell the stories of famous Hispanics who helped improve the lives of Hispanics. Hispanic heritage movies inspire pride, hope and patriotism in Hispanics, while allowing non-Hispanic spectators to understand and gain an appreciation of Hispanic identity. 

  1. "Spanglish" (2004) is a Mexicamerican Hispanic heritage film projecting the fusion of both Spanish and English culture in the U.S. This heritage movie traces the path of a Hispanic mother who works as a housemaid to an Anglo-American family and is forced to open herself to a new culture. Her daughter more readily adapts and after a while, a rift develops between both generations. Adam Sandler and Tea Leoni star and act as juxtapositions of both American and Hispanic perspectives. 
  2. "Frida" (2002) is a Hispanic heritage movie documenting the life and career of legendary Mexican artist Frida Kahlo. Very unconventional and unorthodox, Frida attracted attention with her talent at producing vivid portraits of her concept of self, her nation (Mexico), her love for Diego Rivera (her husband) and her physical and emotional anguish. "Frida," starring Salma Hayek, portrays Frida as an iconoclastic icon who exported Hispanic heritage to the world despite personal and social obstacles.
  3. "Como Agua Para Chocolate" (1992)  is a Hispanic heritage film featuring gastronomy and appetite, individualism and family tradition, gender conflict and sexuality. This classic movie enables spectators to catch a glimpse of Mexican women embroiled in a nation's revolutionary civil war and pitted against their own desire for freedom and personal independence
  4. "Real Women Have Curves" (2002) is a rich Hispanic heritage film in which America Ferrera plays the central role of a teenager who is coming of age. Ana is a Mexican-American girl from Los Angeles still trying to adapt to and balance the dual demands of retaining her cultural identity and the possibilities for the contemporary Western woman in the U.S. This movie bases its story on the decisions that children of Hispanic immigrants must face to acclimatize to culture and form identities of their own.
  5. Quinceañera (2006) is another Hispanic heritage movie about a fourteen-year old teenage girl, Magdalena, on the brink of fifteen and celebrating a special occasion enjoyed by many Hispanic girls. Magdalena unfortunately becomes pregnant to her family's disappointment without being married. This Mexican-American movie allows the audience to observe some festivities associated with coming of age and its challenging transition and its requirements to function as a responsible adult. 
  6. "Which Way Home" (2009) is a Hispanic heritage documentary mapping out the path of Hispanic immigrants, who attempt to cross the border and partake in a piece on the American pie. Hailing from countries such as Honduras, Mexico and El Salvador, the child immigrants must battle the invading and illicit drug trade which targets the poor and young. En route to America, they also encounter authorities who block their way. 
  7. "Sin Nombre" (2009) is a Hispanic heritage film exposing some of the activities of notorious Hispanic gang, Mara Salvatrucha. This gang, commonly involved with drug trade, drug wars and whose members account for several crimes, draws young members from El Salvador, Mexico, and parts of Central America. Meaning "Nameless" in English, this movie divulges the tale of countles unknown victims searching for identity and livelihood in gangsterism. Anonymity is key in functioning as a member and points to two of the social struggles in Hispanic culture – drug marketing and gang violence
  8. "Under the Same Moon" or "La Misma Luna" recounts the story of separation between a Hispanic mother and her son both living in Mexico and the U.S. respectively. The moon comes to represent one of the things they look at which inspires hope of reuniting.  

- Annmicha Blugh