Published On: Thu, Feb 27th, 2020

Must-See U.S. Latino Feature Films

Spread the love

These must-see American Latino films have grabbed audiences not only for their ability to shed light on the struggles of Latinos in the United States, but for their ability to humanize Latino culture.

These films all helped pave the way for more recent Latino films and the images of Latinos in cinema. With relatable themes such as family, love, and a desire to achieve the American dream, these U.S. Latino films tell compelling stories that go beyond race.

Top U.S. Latino Feature Films

Mi Familia (My Family)

Directed by Gregory Nava (1995)

Mi Familia (My Family)

Starring Edward James Olmos, Jimmy Smits, Jennifer Lopez, Esai Morales, Lupe Ontiveros, and Constance Marie among others

A family saga spanning three generations begins, like the stories of many Mexican-American families, in a little town in Mexico. The patriarch of the family, Jose Sanchez, departs on a year-long journey on foot that takes him from Mexico to Los Angeles. With the help of a relative who has been in Los Angeles since the days California was Mexico, Jose begins a new life with his bride Maria.

As the film reveals the story of the Sanchez family, it also touches on important political issues like deportation and the injustices faced by Mexican-Americans throughout history. It’s also an early example of a Latino immigration film.

During the Great Depression, large numbers of U.S. citizens of Mexican descent were illegally rounded up by the U.S. government and shipped to Mexico. In the film, Maria (a U.S. citizen) is snatched up with her son in tow and dropped off in Mexico.

But through the tragedies and dramatic challenges life throws at the Sanchez family, they are determined to do whatever it takes to stay together.

La Bamba

Directed by Luis Valdez (1987)

Starring Lou Diamond Phillips, Esai Morales, Elizabeth Pena, Rosana DeSoto

While many people may be familiar with the rock and roll version of the song “La Bamba,” few people know the singer behind that classic hit. Ritchie Valens introduced the popular music of Veracruz, Mexico, to a younger, diverse audience when he gave the traditional Mexican folk song a rock and roll twist.

This U.S. Latino film shines a light on the life of Mexican-American rock and roll star Ritchie Valens, who died tragically in a plane crash along with musicians Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper. That day is now called by fans as “The Day the Music Died.”

Ritchie Valens’ story in the film starts with his migrant farm worker days and follows his road to stardom. Along the way, his complicated relationship with his brother and his relationship with girlfriend Donna clearly mark Ritchie’s path. Family and his love of music drives Ritchie to be a successful musician. And though his American Dream came at a price, his legacy influenced rock and roll music in America forever.

Blood In/ Blood Out (also known as Bound by Honor)

Directed by Taylor Hackford (1993)

Starring Damian Chapa, Benjamin Bratt, Jesse Borrego

Groundbreaking at the time of its release, Blood In/Blood Out was perhaps the first film to accurately portray the reality of Chicano prison gangs in Los Angeles. Based on the life of poet Jimmy Santiago Baca, this American Latino movie focuses on the strength of brotherhood. It’s worth it for audiences to get past the occasional overacting of its star Damian Chapa to see the genius of the overall storyline.

The film weaves in the stories of two step brothers (Paco and Cruz) and a cousin (Miklo), who are all members of an East Los Angeles gang “Vatos Locos.” A life of crime, violence, and addictions all affect each man differently. They must decide how it will affect their relationships because they are, afterall, bound by blood.

About the Author

- I am an internet marketing expert with an experience of 8 years.My hobbies are SEO,Content services and reading ebooks.I am founder of SRJ News andTech Preview.

Composite Start -->