Yalitza Aparicio has captivated audiences with her first-ever acting role in Alfonso Cuaron’s masterpiece Roma. This morning the Academy of Motion Pictures showed its appreciation of her performance with an Oscar nomination for Best Actress in a Leading Role. It’s a momentous occasion for a multitude of reasons: she’s only the 4th Latin American actress to achieve this honor and the only one to be indigenous.
Especially after facing racist attacks online, Aparicio knew that landing an Oscar nomination would have a tremendous impact on her community. In a profile published last week, she told the New York Times: “I’d be breaking the stereotype that because we’re Indigenous we can’t do certain things because of our skin color. Receiving that nomination would be a break from so many ideas. It would open doors to other people — to everyone — and deepen our conviction that we can do these things now.”
Thankfully, a friend woke up her up early this morning armed with a laptop to stream the nominations while they were announced live and a camera to catch Yalitza’s reaction. It’s impossible to watch without crying.