Remezcla readers love to take in culture, but don’t always have the cash for tickets. That’s where we come in. A Theater Near You is Remezcla’s guide to awesome Latin movies for the lazy and broke; you can watch these all at home (because sabemos que son flojos).
Snow days are pretty much what our Theater Near You column was invented for: you, stuck at home, with junk food and nothing to do. Below, check out a round-up of our 2013 recommendations for great Hispanic films you can stream online while you’re holed up indoors on this blustery day:
Brazil has selected this film as its official submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. It shows us a slice of life in Recife, a quiet middle-class neighborhood where rising crime has put everyone on edge.
In a breakout performance, Gina Rodriguez plays Majo, a tough rapper who needs to make it big so she can raise money to get her mom out of jail. The cast includes Latino powerhouses Lou Diamond Phillips, Edward James Olmos, and the late Jenni Rivera in her first, and sadly last, movie role.
Gun Hill Road:
First-time director Rashaad Ernesto Green put together a cast of seasoned professionals (Esai Morales, Judy Reyes) and newcomers to tell the story of a transgendered teenager growing up in the Bronx. After serving three years in prison, tough-guy Enrique returns to his family and finds his wife is a virtual stranger to him and his son…
Mosquita y Mari:
Determined to challenge Hollywood’s lack of diverse stories Aurora Guerrero set out to make a film that reflected her own identity as a queer woman of color. The result is Mosquita y Mari, a sensitive, bold, and thoughtful portrait of two teenage Chicanas whose budding friendship begins to slowly become something beyond just friends.
Joven y Alocada (Young & Wild):
A coming-of-age story that deals with female sexuality in a frank way that’s rarely seen in film. It’s like a female indie version of American Pie, but with a heart.
It’s cold outside but you can pretend to be warm watching this film about street kids running around in the oppressive sticky heat of Queens, trying to hustle a living.
Nostalgia por la Luz:
In an almost metaphysical experience, director Patricio Guzmán wanders through the vast Atacama Desert in Chile—home to some of the world’s largest telescopes along with the remains of those ‘disappeared’ during the dictatorship. Only a master filmmaker could take these two seemingly unrelated ideas and weave them together into a stirring portrait of families who are still searching for their missing loved ones and of a country still looking for answers. It has been universally critically acclaimed.
Bread and Roses
This film is based on the real life Justice For Janitors campaign in 1990, which organized a strike of non-union janitors (mostly undocumented immigrants) in downtown L.A.
Eighteen years after her death, Selena Quintanilla-Pérez is still a musical icon. The movie memorializing her life is iconic in its own right.
This Academy Award winning documentary follows Inocente Izucar, a young, undocumented immigrant who struggles with homelessness as she pursues her artistic ambitions in San Diego.