The 5 Best Latino Movies About Summer

Lead Photo: Photo by GettyImages
Photo by GettyImages
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Summer is almost here! Aren’t you super excited to be dripping in sweat and complaining about how it’s hotter than el infierno? Well, we can’t wait either. To get you in the sweltering verano mood, here are 5 of our favorite Latino films about summer.

Y tu mamá también
Director: Alfonso Cuarón

This is the movie that started the world’s love affair with Mexico’s most famous acting duo. Young Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna try to romance a slightly older Spanish woman and take her on a road trip in search of a mostly made up beach called boca del cielo. Along the way they pass police checkpoints, see drug busts and traffic accidents, and drive past shanty towns–you see the real Mexico. It’s beautiful, sometimes violent, many are poor, some really really rich. Filled with the most awkward sex scenes in cinematic history and peppered with Mexi-slang it’s at this point a Mexican classic.

Raising Victor Vargas
Director: Peter Sollett

“During one hot summer on the streets of New York’s Lower East Side, teenage Victor is enjoying the golden period of his adolescence. Even though he lives at home with his younger brother, sister, and grandmother, he still imagines himself the greatest ladies man his neighborhood has ever seen. However, when word gets out that he’s sleeping with an overweight, unpopular girl living two floors above him, suddenly he finds himself in a danger of becoming the laughing stock of the neighborhood.” — Cannes Film Festival

Chop Shop
Director: Ramin Bahrani

“Alejandro, a tough and ambitious street orphan on the verge of adolescence, lives and work in an auto-body repair shop in a sprawling junkyard on the outskirts of Queens, New York. In this chaotic world of adults, young Alejandro struggles to make a better life for himself and his 16-year-old sister, Isamar.” — The Directors’ Fortnight

La ciénaga
Director: Lucrecia Martel

“Martel’s debut is remarkable, a (presumably autobiographical?) slice of life focusing on the households of middle-aged cousins, the kind and sensible Tali (Morán) and the more neurotic and self-centred Mecha (Borges), over the course of a torpid late Argentinian summer. Mostly it’s based in and around Mecha’s country house. The swimming pool is green and putrid. The electricity keeps cutting out. The phone rings and rings, and no matter how many times you tell them the Indians won’t answer it. Martel’s densely layered soundtrack is even more impressive than her distinctive, confident visuals: the scrape of a pool chair against the concrete is enough to set your teeth on edge. It’s not that the film lacks compassion, but that Martel’s outlook is singularly bleak.” – Time Out (London)

El último verano de la boyita
Director: Julia Solomonoff

“The lush countryside of Argentina sets the tone for this tender tale of the summer when childhood is left behind. Precocious Jorgelina may be young but is well versed in the changes that come with puberty, both by her father, a medical doctor, and older sister Luciana, who has just entered the world of push-up bras and feminine hygiene products. Jorgelina opts to head off to her father’s ranch to spend the summer swimming and horseback riding. Lonely for a playmate, she desperately shadows the withdrawn young ranch hand Mario who has little time for her childish pursuits.” — Frameline Film Festival