Here Are the 25 Additional Latino Films the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Nominated for National Film Registry

Lead Photo: Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
Art by Stephany Torres for Remezcla
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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:

  • The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982) directed by Robert Young
  • Latino (1985) directed by Haskell Wexler
  • The Milagro Beanfield War (1988) directed by Robert Redford
  • Romero (1989) directed by John Duigan
  • Lo que le pasó a Santiago/What Happened to Santiago (1989) directed by Jacobo Morales
  • American Me (1992) directed by Edward James Olmos
  • Blood In, Blood Out (1993) directed by Taylor Hackford
  • My Family/Mi Familia (1995) directed by Gregory Nava
  • Tortilla Soup (2001) directed by María Ripoll
  • Spy Kids (2001) directed by Robert Rodriguez
  • 12 Horas/12 Hours (2001) directed by Raúl Marchand Sánchez
  • Frida (2002) directed by Julie Taymor
  • Raising Victor Vargas (2002) directed by Peter Sollett
  • The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) directed by Walter Salles
  • Maria Full of Grace (2004) directed by Joshua Marston
  • Hermanas/Sisters (2005) directed by Julia Solomonoff
  • Viva Cuba/Long Live Cuba (2005) directed by Juan Carlos Cremata
  • The Lost City (2005) directed by Andy Garcia
  • Walkout (2006) directed by Edward James Olmos
  • Under the Same Moon (2007) directed by Patricia Riggen
  • Nothing Like the Holidays (2008) directed by Alfredo De Villa
  • Down for Life (2009) directed by Alan Jacobs
  • Don’t Let Me Drown (2009) directed by Cruz Angeles
  • Gun Hill Road (2011) directed by Rashaad Ernesto Green
  • A Better Life (2011) directed by Christopher Weitz
  • 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.”