By Victoria Lara
With Sept. 15 signaling the start of National Hispanic Heritage Month, it may be difficult to find a good starting point to immerse yourself in Latinx culture. However, these next five films might be a great place to start for those looking to expand their film scope this month.
First off is “Cesar Chavez,” a biographical film based on its namesake, civil rights activist Cesar Chavez. Directed by Diego Luna, this 2014 film illustrates Chavez’s struggles while fighting for the rights of Hispanic laborers. This inspirational story demonstrates the power of resilience and kindness, as the iconic activist fought for higher wages, all while keeping an anti-violence stance throughout his protests.
“Under the Same Moon”
Next is the 2007 film “Under the Same Moon,” where a young boy endures the grueling conditions of illegally crossing the border to reunite with his mother. This heartbreaking film does an excellent job at depicting a subject that often surrounds much controversy. While the young mother leaves her son behind, it is evident she is only doing so to provide for her family. However, her son takes matters into his own hands, crossing the border so he can finally see his mother again. Through the actors’ excellent performances and heartwarming story line, the movie might just result in some tears for viewers.
The critically-acclaimed biography “Frida” is next on the list, starring the famous Mexican actress Salma Hayek. Hayek transforms herself in this role, depicting the darker, lesser known side to the renowned artist Frida Kahlo. Kahlo struggles in her relationship with her famous painter husband, Diego Rivera, along with her own health concerns and national political issues. In this film, Hayek shows the many sides of Kahlo and her iconic paintings.
Breaking from his usual comedic roles, George Lopez stars in the 2015 drama “Spare Parts.” Playing a high school teacher, Lopez helps four young boys build a robot sophisticated enough to compete in a major national competition. With limited funds and experience, the students face many obstacles along the way. Nonetheless, with their unyielding determination, they face off against top schools and prove that money is not always the key to success.
Closing off this list is director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu’s first feature film, “Amores Perros.” Earning him worldwide acclaim, the film depicts the lives of several strangers living in Mexico, each living completely different lives but all connected in some way. This brutal film may be difficult to watch, but its stellar performances, as well as real and biting plot, are worth it.