While things are undoubtedly getting better for Latinos — and minorities in general — on television (shout out in order to Jane the Virgin), it’s easy to forget that U.S. Latinos have long had a televisual champion in our corner, fighting from one funding cycle to the next to make sure our stories get told. No, we’re not talking about Mun2, or MTV tr3s, or any other word spelled out with a number. We’re talking about public television (spelled PBS), and somewhere embedded within its tentacular, publicly-funded broadcast empire is a little something called Latino Public Broadcasting.
With over 85 prestigious awards racked up in the last five years alone, it’s fair to said that Latino Public Broadcasting is doing its part to share the rich diversity of the Latino experience here in the U.S., while also holding things down in the quality control department. Bottom line is, if LPB puts something out, you know it’s going to be good, which is why we were pumped up for the new season of VOCES, PBS’ signature Latino arts and culture showcase that aired through the month of April. In case you missed the broadcast or are one of those pesky cord cutters, we got the hook up.
Here are all the movies and where you can stream them for free.
Children of Giant
Production Year 2015
Stream Children of Giant on PBS.org until July 17, 2015.
This documentary by Texas-born filmmaker Hector Galán revisits the making of the 1956 Academy Award-winning film Giant, which was shot in Marfa, Texas and starred Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson, and James Dean (his last film before his death). With its themes of segregation and racism between whites and Mexican Americans, Giant became a much-talked-about film during its day, especially since many Latino non-actors were cast in the project. Sixty years after its release, Galán returns to Marfa and finds some of those children, now elderly men, who share memories of their time working on a Hollywood movie.
Now En Español
Production Year 2014
Stream Now En Español on PBS.org until July 25, 2015.
A fascinating look at a rarely seen side of Hollywood, Now en Español follows the trials and travails of five hard-working Latina actresses who dub Desperate Housewives for Spanish-language audiences in the U.S. With real lives that are often as dramatic and desperate as those of their onscreen counterparts, the five dynamic women featured struggle to pursue their Hollywood dreams while balancing the responsibilities of paying rent and raising children. The film chronicles their lives as they audition for parts and work in the dubbing studio while striving for a career that offers more prominent — and on-screen roles.
Production Year 2014
Stream El Poeta on PBS.org until July 31, 2015.
Both heartbreaking and inspiring, El Poeta tells the story of renowned Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, who ignited mass protests and an ongoing international movement for peace after the brutal killing of his 24-year-old son Juan Francisco — collateral damage in a drug war that has left more than 100,000 dead or missing since 2006. Filmed over the course of three years, the film follows the journey of Sicilia and his movement as they make their way from Mexico’s most embattled cities — Juarez, Chihuahua, Durango and others — to the U.S., urging American citizens and lawmakers to share in the responsibility for the violence. El Poeta transforms the hard news story of drugs, murder, and corruption into a deeply personal examination of the impact of the ultimate loss on the human psyche — as well as the power of righteous protest.