Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month With These Latin American Movies

Editor
By Editor October 13, 2017 10:01

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month With These Latin American Movies

Celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month by Streaming These Latin American Movies on Netflix

Want to celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month but don’t know where to stream Latin American movies? Netflix offers access to a lot of excellent examples, including modern classics like “Y Tu Mamá También” and festival favorites like “Semana Santa.” Explore those titles and more before Hispanic Heritage Month ends on Oct. 15. (Dates reflect a film’s United States theatrical release unless noted.)

Alexandre Rodrigues and Alice Braga in “City of God.”Miramax Films

City of God (2004)
Where to watch:
Netflix, Amazon Prime

This is not a movie about the sandy beaches and tourist holes of Rio de Janeiro. Instead, this lively and disturbing story is set in one of that city’s favelas over the course of two decades, as Rocket (Alexandre Rodrigues) seeks to escape the slums, ruthless gangs and gun-toting children of his neighborhood by becoming a photographer. The film operates in extremes — shot with vivid colors, quick edits and frenetic camera movements, and containing brutal spurts of violence.

Gael García Bernal in “Amores Perros.”Lions Gate Films

Amores Perros (2001)
Where to watch:
Netflix, Amazon, iTunes

This drama set in Mexico City introduced the world to both the director Alejandro González Iñárritu and the actor Gael García Bernal. Its complex narrative jumps in time to before and after a violent car crash that brings together three strangers — a love-struck young man trying to run away with his sister-in-law, a supermodel in a troubled relationship and a vagrant who’s actually an assassin. The movie earned Iñárritu international acclaim and he jumped to Hollywood soon after, where he made “21 Grams,” “Babel,” “Birdman” and “The Revenant.”

[Browse our collection: Movies With Diverse Casts or Leads]

Gael García Bernal and Maribel Verdu in the film “Y Tu Mamá También.”Daniel Daza/IFC Films

Y Tu Mamá También (2002)
Where to watch:
Netflix, FilmStruck, Amazon

 After hearing about the absolute perfect beach, two teenagers (Bernal and Diego Luna) convince a married woman (Maribel Verdu) to join them on their road trip. Along the way, the three of them shed their clothes and share some secrets. After directing two pretty book adaptations — “A Little Princess” and “Great Expectations” — Alfonso Cuarón made this steamy film, which became one of Mexico’s biggest hits of the decade.

Luis Gnecco and Mercedes Morán in “Neruda.”The Orchard

Neruda (2016)
Where to watch:
Netflix, Amazon, iTunes

Pablo Larraín’s “Neruda” is a nontraditional biopic. Yes, the movie introduces audiences to a flawed, opinionated Pablo Neruda (Luis Gnecco), the poet and senator who was forced into hiding in 1948 after the Chilean government swung from left to right. But it also includes a made-up figure, the ambitious investigator Óscar Peluchonneau (Bernal), to play the serious and rigid foil to Neruda’s flamboyant and creative personality. In adding fantasy to history, “Neruda” evolves from one poet’s story into an allegorical struggle between artists and the law.

María Telón, left, and María Mercedes Coroy in “Ixcanul.”Kino Lorber

Ixcanul (2016)
Where to watch:
Netflix, Amazon, iTunes

Maria, a 17-year-old Mayan girl (the first-time actress María Mercedes Coroy) wants out of an arranged marriage so she can follow her crush, a field worker, to the United States in search of better opportunities. Her dream is deferred, however, when she discovers she’s pregnant. “Ixcanul” is both a timeless story about a girl who wants more than what life has given her, and a very specific glimpse into an indigenous culture that lives in the shadow of the titular Guatemalan volcano.

Irandhir Santos and Sonia Braga in “Aquarius.”Victor Jucá/CinemaScópio

Aquarius (2016)
Where to watch:
Netflix

In this not-so-subtle jab at Brazil’s overzealous real estate boom, Clara (Sonia Braga), a longtime resident of a housing complex in Recife, Brazil, refuses to leave when developers come to take away her home. The businessmen may resort to cruel methods to try and push her out, but Clara is steadfast. As she begins to reminisce about her memory-filled years there, her fight to stay becomes a mission. This character-driven movie would not succeed without Clara. Both headstrong yet vulnerable, she is the last woman standing against this example of capitalist overreach.

María Nieves and Juan Carlos Copes in “Our Last Tango.”Strand Releasing

Our Last Tango (2016)
Where to watch:
Netflix, Amazon, iTunes

Once a renowned couple in the Buenos Aires tango scene, the dancers María Nieves Rego and Juan Carlos Copes split professionally after their marriage shattered. But after years apart, they reunite to reflect on their 50-year relationship for this Argentine documentary, which blends talking head interviews with stylish modern-dance and tango interpretations of Rego’s childhood and the couple’s relationship. Between their colorful anecdotes and the impressive choreography, it’s easy to get caught up in this bittersweet love story.

A scene from “Semana Santa.”Pimienta Films

Semana Santa (2016, Mexico)
Where to watch:
Netflix

“Semana Santa” follows a boy (Esteban Ávila), his mother (Anajosé Aldrete Echevarria) and her new boyfriend (Tenoch Huerta) on what is supposed to be a relaxing family vacation. It does not go well. Director Alejandra Márquez Abella adds a twist in the last half, when the film switches from the family’s point of view to following each of their solo misadventures.

Sebastián Aguirre, lower center left, in “Güeros.”Kino Lorber

Güeros (2015)
Where to watch:
Netflix, Amazon, iTunes

After disrupting the peace one too many times, the troublemaking adolescent Tomas (Sebastián Aguirre) is sent by his exasperated mom to visit his older brother, in Mexico City, where they will embark on shenanigans like crashing a party, stumbling into a student protest and tracking down a deathly ill musician. Filmed in black and white, the movie is lively and stark in its musings about the contrasts between slackers and activists, rich and poor, and those who have light or dark skin. It’s a meandering film, but a very fun one to watch unravel.

Peter Lanzani, left, and Guillermo Francella in “The Clan.”Fox International

The Clan (2016)
Where to watch:
Netflix, Amazon, iTunes

Based on a true story from 1980s Argentina, “The Clan” is a nightmarish family drama. After a family patriarch, Arquímedes Puccio (Guillermo Francella), loses his military job, he begins kidnapping several of the rich school friends of his son Alejandro (Peter Lanzani) and extorting their families. Dad then enlists his family to help with his criminal deeds. Told from Arquímedes’s perspective, his actions are shown as almost sympathetic and his new line of work as just another chore around the house.

Juliano Cazarré in “Neon Bull.”Kino Lorber

Neon Bull (2016)
Where to watch:
Netflix, iTunes

Iremar (Juliano Cazarré) is a busy and ambitious man. He fashions costumes for a friend, an exotic dancer named Galega (Maeve Jinkings), in the off hours of his day job tending bulls for a local rodeo show. This leads to a number of strange and striking images, including a rodeo ring bathed in neon lights and a performer dancing seductively in a horse head mask. Aneclectic cast of characters include the dancer’s tomboyish daughter and Iremar’s tubby fellow wrangler, a fun bunch to follow.
Editor
By Editor October 13, 2017 10:01

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