Get your snacks ready and head to the couch, because these Spanish-language films are all available on streaming services you probably already have. So, indulge your inner cinephile with these seven films while learning more about the history, important personalities, and cultures of the Hispanic world.
- La noche de 12 años
This historical drama takes place during the Uruguayan Dictatorship (1973 to 1985). It details the true story of José Mujica (who later became president) and other members of the National Liberation Movement. The title of the film refers to the twelve long years these men spent captive underground, unable to see the light of day.
- Ya no estoy aquí
A beautiful film about a young man who must flee for his life across the border, this Mexican drama is the winner of ten Ariel Awards. The protagonist, Ulises, faces culture shock and discrimination upon his arrival in Queens, New York, but finds camaraderie with other immigrants confronting similar situations.
- Como caído del cielo
Need a good laugh? This movie incorporates the character of real-life Mexican movie star Pedro Infante into a story about redemption during the afterlife. This is a romantic comedy that’s sure to make you nostalgic if you’ve seen Infante in classic Mexican movies from the 1940s and 50s.
- Pelo malo
Pelo malo is a term used in the Latinx community to describe hair with a kinky or Afro-type texture. It’s this type of hair the protagonist, Junior, is trying his best to straighten while living with his single mom and little brother in Caracas. This film honestly and tenderly confronts the often-avoided topic of racism in Latin America.
In this biographical drama, Nobel Prize-winning poet and political activist Pablo Neruda is forced to become a fugitive in his own country when it’s revealed that he’s a member of the Communist Party. Gael García Bernal plays the inspector tasked with finding him. He begins reading his poetry to try and better understand Neruda, but always seems to be one step behind.
- Todo sobre mi madre
This Oscar-winning Argentine film is all about family and acceptance. It relates the story of Manuela, a mother who must face her past when her son asks about his estranged father. It turns out his father is now living as a transgender woman named Lola, which is the reason Manuela and the father no longer speak. Reuniting with Lola will bring many questions and confrontations, but it will also bring a new idea of maternal love.
- Veneno: Primera Caída, El Relámpago de Jack
The life of Rafael Sánchez, a famous Dominican wrestler known as Jack Veneno, is the subject of this action-packed biopic. You’ll watch Veneno’s rise to fame and the troubles that come with it, but you’ll also get to explore Dominican culture and common mythology along the way.
By Kelli Drummer-Avendano