Yes, we know it’s frustrating that at Remezcla we’re constantly gushing about all the fantastic films that are being made in Latin America, and all you wanna do is see them on the big screen. But, you can’t. Sadly most films from Latin America never make it to theaters in the US. Well, we’ve got great news for you: there are four features and a short playing in theaters across the country this week. A sixth film, Embrace of the Serpent opens next Wednesday (Feb 17) in New York and on Friday (Feb 19) in Los Angeles. And did we mention that three of these films got Oscar nominations? Yeah…no big deal. Hailing from Chile, Colombia, Brazil, and Mexico, you can now fully immerse yourself in the drama and action of Latin American cinema the way a true film nerd should: sitting in dark room staring at a big screen.
Find even more Latino films playing at theaters near you on Cinelandia.
Playing now: New York
Opens: February 12 (Boca Raton, Los Angeles, Miami); February 19 (San Rafael); March 4 (Portland)
Coming soon: Boston, Philadelphia, San Diego, San Francisco
Director Pablo Larraín’s previous films examined life in Chile under the Pinochet dictatorship, and here he takes aim at another oppressive force: the Catholic Church. The Club has four members, all priests, who live together in a Church-sponsored home to “purge” themselves of their sins, which include child molestation and kidnapping. With a retired nun to look after them, the men seem willing to live out their days in contrite seclusion. But their penitence is interrupted with the arrival of a crisis counselor, Father Garcia. The Club took home the Jury Grand Prix at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival, and was selected to represent Chile for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 2016 Oscars, but did not receive a nomination.
O menino e o mundo
Playing now: Chicago, Minneapolis, Miami, New York, Portland, San Diego, Washington DC
Opens: March 26 (Bloomington)
Coming soon: San Francisco
This modern-day fable follows the adventures of a young boy who leaves his small village after the death of his father only to find himself immersed in a chaotic and often confusing modern world filled with strange creatures, fantastic machines and giant, impersonal monuments to human progress. Filled with idiosyncratic plays on perspective and employing a variety of techniques — including collages pasted alongside the thick, waxy lines of Crayola crayons — O menino e o mundo feels like stepping into the imagination of a child set to a joyous samba soundtrack. The film was nominated for Best Animated Feature Film at the 2016 Academy Awards.
Playing now: Nationwide
The U.S.-Mexico border has provided the setting (and conflict) for many a drama, but in Gabriel Ripstein’s 600 Miles, it’s just one of many lines that are crossed. Arnulfo (Kristyan Ferrer) is a young Mexican gunrunner, which lands him on ATF Agent Hank Harris’ (Tim Roth) radar. But instead of getting his man, Hank is taken hostage by Arnulfo, who wants to hand him over to his cartel bosses to curry favor. The two men get chummy on the trip south, which makes Arnulfo’s subsequent actions all the more tragic. 600 Miles won the Best First Feature award at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.
Eisenstein in Guanajuato
Playing now: New York, Los Angeles
Sergei Eisenstein was a Soviet filmmaker who revolutionized silent (and propaganda) films with 1925’s Battleship Potemkin, and whose brief stay in Mexico is the inspiration for Peter Greenaway’s biopic. It’s a sexy and hilarious tribute to the legendary director, who fell in love with Mexico — and a few handsome Mexicans in particular — while attempting to film a movie. Greenaway mixes palettes, taking Eisenstein from quiet, black-and-white moments to color-soaked epiphanies. Eisenstein’s boundless lust ultimately proved to be his movie’s undoing, but here he (mostly) just has a great time. Eisenstein in Guanajuato screened in the main competition at the 65th Berlin International Film Festival.
Historia de un oso
Every day, a melancholy old bear takes a mechanical diorama that he has created out to his street corner. For a coin, passersby can look into the peephole of his invention, which tells the story of a circus bear who longs to escape and return to the family from which he was taken. Historia de un oso was nominated for Best Animated Short Film at the 2016 Academy Awards.
El abrazo de la serpiente
Opens: February 17 (New York); February 19 (Los Angeles); March 11 (Portland); March 17 (Boca Raton); March 31 (Bloomington)
There’s no reason to think things will end well for the natives of the pristine Amazon in this Colombian drama from Ciro Guerra (La Sombra del Caminante). The movie comprises two stories of two journeys along one river, in search of a healing plant, and centers on an age-old theme: nothing gold can stay. Colonialism finds its way into even the most remote places on this planet, and leaves catastrophe in its wake. The film was even shot in black and white, leaving no room for shades of gray, moral or otherwise. The film was nominated for Best Foreign Language Film at the 2016 Academy Awards.