After nominating the 1997 biopic Selena for inclusion into the National Film Registry earlier this year, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has decided to tap an additional 25 Latino films.
Congressman Joaquin Castro and Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Raul Ruiz, M.D., penned a letter to Dr. Carla Hayden, Librarian of Congress, about the importance of reflecting diversity in the choices made by the Registry each year.
“As you know, Latinos remain dramatically underrepresented in this influential industry, contributing to the misperceptions and stereotypes about Latinos in our society,” the letter reads. “In effect, when we cannot tell our stories, others will tell stories about us. We believe this is a significant factor motivating ongoing anti-Latino sentiment in American society, one which negatively impacts Latinos in all aspects of society, from immigration law to the education system to the current public health crisis.”
By nominating 26 films in such a public way (the Registry chooses 25 total films each year), the Congressional Hispanic Caucus seems to have made a smart power play. It might be easy to say no to one Latino movie, but to say no to all 26 in one year could raise some eyebrows. The optics would not look good for the Registry if its decision makers didn’t deem at least one of the caucus’ nominees as a film that is “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant” when it votes in late 2021.
Here are the other 25 nominees:
Actor Jesse Borrego, who starred in the 1993 drama Blood In, Blood Out, considers all the nominees “significant pieces of film literature” that deserve a spot in the Registry. He hopes the organization takes a serious look at all the titles the Caucus has nominated this year and realize they are all worthy of recognition.
“Most of these films were never exemplified in their time because they weren’t the flavor of the month or because they didn’t win Academy Awards,” Borrego told Remezcla during an interview Wednesday (March 3). “Beyond its cult status, Blood In, Blood Out is catching on and is just as valid as anything else. [Director] Taylor [Hackford] didn’t try to micromanage any of the Chicano elements of the story. He let us be artists. He brought out the true authenticity.”