Casual

30 Movies and Series to Celebrate Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month

September 15 marks the start of Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month– a month when people take some time to recognize the contributions of Hispanic and Latin Americans to the United States and celebrate the group’s heritage and culture.

For this reason, we picked some of the most popular and remembered Latinx movies and series that tell the struggles of being Hispanic/Latino/Latinx in the United States, while also highlighting the hopes, pride, and accomplishments of our community in the United States.


Movies

El Norte (1983)

When a group of Mayan Indians decides to organize a labor union to improve conditions in their village, their community is violently destroyed by the Guatemalan army. Teenage siblings, Rosa and Enrique manage to escape the massacre and decide to start a new life in El Norte — the USA. The two trek through Mexico, meeting a variety of characters and facing trials and tribulations on their journey toward lives as illegal immigrants in Los Angeles.
Watch it on: iTunes

Los Sures (1984)

Diego Echeverria’s film skillfully represents the challenges residents of the Southside faced: poverty, drugs, gang violence, crime, abandoned real estate, racial tension, single-parent homes, and inadequate local resources. The complex portrait also celebrates the vitality of this largely Puerto Rican and Dominican community, showing the strength of their culture, their creativity, and their determination to overcome a desperate situation. Beautifully restored for the 30th anniversary premiere at the New York Film Festival, this documentary is an invaluable piece of New York City history.
Watch it on: Amazon Prime Video, Kanopy, SundanceNow

Stand and Deliver (1988)

The story of Jaime Escalante, a high school teacher who successfully inspired his dropout prone students to learn calculus.
Watch it on: Amazon Prime, YouTube, Vudu, Google Play, iTunes, Netflix

The Mambo Kings (1992)

Musician brothers Cesar and Nestor leave Cuba for America in the 1950s, hoping to hit the top of the Latin music scene.
Watch it on: Vudu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play

My Family (1995)

An epic film that traces over three generations of an immigrant family’s trials, tribulations, tragedies and triumphs.
Watch it on: Amazon

Selena (1997)

The true story of Selena Quintanilla-Perez, a Texas-born Tejano singer who rose from cult status to performing at the Astrodome, as well as having chart topping albums on the Latin music charts.
Watch it on: Vudu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play

Tortilla Soup (2001)

A Mexican-American father and chef lost his ability to taste but his family still lives by one simple rule: be at home for Sunday dinner.
Watch it on: Vudu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Tubi

Piñero (2001)

The true story of the explosive life of Puerto Rican icon and poet-playwright-actor Miguel Piñero, whose urban poetry is recognized as a pre-cursor to rap and hip-hop. Piñero’s prison experiences developed into the 1974 Tony-nominated play Short Eyes.
Watch it on: Vudu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play

Real Women Have Curves (2002)

A coming of age story of a first generation Latina, her very traditional parents and the struggle to find a balance between mainstream ambitions and cultural heritage.
Watch it on: Vudu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, HBO

Under the Same Moon (2007)

A young Mexican boy travels to the U.S. to find his mother-who has been working in the States to provide for him-after his grandmother passes away.
Watch it on: Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Vudu

Cesar Chavez (2014) 

A biography of the civil-rights activist and labor organizer Cesar Chavez.
Watch it on: Vudu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Hulu

East Side Sushi (2014)

Against all odds, single Latina mum Juana aspires to become a sushi chef while working in a Japanese restaurant.
Watch it on: Vudu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play, Kanopy

Living Los Sures (2014)

Produced over 5 years by 60 artists at UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art, LIVING LOS SURES is an expansive project about the Southside of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Known by its long-term Latino residents as Los Sures, the neighborhood was one of the poorest in New York City in the late 70s and early 80s. In fact, it had been called the worst ghetto in America. Today, it is the site of a battle between local identity and luxury lifestyle.
Watch it on: LosSur.es website

McFarland USA (2015)

The true story of a coach who turns seven Latino students with no hope into one of the best cross-country teams in the U.S.
Watch it on: Vudu, Amazon Prime, YouTube, iTunes, Google Play

Stolen Education (2017)

Stolen Education documents the untold story of Mexican-American school children who challenged discrimination in Texas schools in the 1950’s and changed the face of education in the Southwest.
Watch it on: Amazon Prime, Kanopy

Dolores (2017)

Raising 11 children while wrestling with gender bias, union defeat and victory, and nearly dying after a San Francisco Police beating, Dolores Huerta bucks 1950s gender conventions to co-found the country’s first farmworkers union.
Watch it on: Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play, Vudu

On the Seventh Day (En el séptimo día) (2017)

José, the best player on his soccer team, is in a tough spot. He’s in the United States illegally, his pregnant wife in Mexico is planning on joining him, and he is supposed to be at work during the championship game.
Watch it on: YouTube, Google Play, HBO

Councilwoman (2019)

Carmen Castillo, a Dominican hotel housekeeper, wins a seat on the city council of Providence, R.I. She has to manage her day job cleaning hotel rooms while advocating for low-income workers as a rookie politician.
Watch it on:  Kanopy, Vimeo

Raúl Juliá: The World’s a Stage (2019)

A warm and revealing portrait of the charismatic, groundbreaking actor’s journey from his native Puerto Rico to the creative hotbed of 1960s New York City, to prominence on Broadway and in Hollywood. Filled with passion, determination and joy, Juliá’s brilliant and daring career was tragically cut short by his untimely death 25 years ago, at age 54.
Watch it on: Amazon Prime Video

The Garden Left Behind (2019)

Driving a cab through the lonely streets of New York, Tina (Carlie Guevara) struggles to provide for herself and her grandmother. Being undocumented makes work difficult to come by, and to add more stress, Tina has begun the transition process. While her doting grandmother endeavors to understand, Tina finds warm support in a group of trans activists that take her under their wing. Tina waits impatiently for her doctor (Ed Asner) to sign off on her transition so she can begin taking hormones, eager to join her trans sisters. But mounting medical costs, her rocky relationship with the man she’s been seeing, and her legal immigration status all become daunting obstacles in Tina’s pursuit of happiness.
Watch it on: Virtual Cinemas and VOD

Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado (2020)

Every day for decades, Walter Mercado — the iconic, gender non-conforming astrologer — mesmerized 120 million Latino viewers with his extravagance and positivity. Then he vanished from the public eye.
Watch it on: Netflix

Critical Thinking (2020)

The true story of the 1998 Miami Jackson Senior High School chess team that defied the odds and overcame incredible adversity to become the first urban high school to win the U.S. Chess National Championship.
Watch it on: AppleTV, iTunes and anywhere else you can buy or rent movies (starting September 4)


Series/TV Shows

East Los High (4 seasons)

A teen drama original to Hulu, follows a group of Latino teens navigating the trials of tribulations of life in East Los Angeles. Characters are faced with real-life issues, including peer pressure, life as a single parent, violence, dark secrets, and decisions involving sex, drugs, pregnancy and infidelity. The Bomb Squad, the high school’s dance team, is the source of high-stakes drama, new moves, sexy team dances and forbidden romance.
Watch it on: Hulu

Gentefied (1 season)

The Morales cousins scramble to save their grandfather’s taco shop — and pursue their own dreams — as gentrification shakes up their LA neighborhood.
Watch it on: Netflix

Habla Now

The latest installment of the award-winning “Habla” series from HBO Latino, debuts FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 18 (9:00PM ET/PT). The one-hour documentary special features testimonials from U.S. Latinos sharing their personal experiences directly to the camera for a national audience, in both English and Spanish. The special features chef and humanitarian José Andrés, Olympian Laurie Hernandez, actress Diane Guerrero, and many more.
Watch it on: HBO Max

Jane the Virgin (5 seasons)

After vowing to remain chaste until marriage, Jane Villanueva learns she’s pregnant due to a medical slip-up and has to rethink her future.
Watch it on: Netflix

Los Espookys (1 season)

Created by Julio Torres, Ana Fabrega and Fred Armisen, Los Espookys, the primarily Spanish-language (with English subtitles) comedy follows a group of friends who turn their love for horror into a peculiar business, providing horror to those who need it, in a dreamy Latin American country where the strange and eerie are just part of daily life.
Watch it on: HBO Max

Mr. Iglesias (2 seasons)

Stand-up comic Gabriel Iglesias stars in this series as a good-natured high school history teacher who tries to help gifted misfits.
Watch it on: Netflix

One Day at a Time (4 seasons)

This comedy-drama is inspired by Norman Lear’s 1975 series of the same name. This time around, the series follows the life of Penelope, a newly single Army veteran, and her Cuban-American family, as they navigate the ups and downs of life.
Watch it on: Netflix and CBS

Vida (3 seasons)

Two Mexican-American sisters from the Eastside of Los Angeles who couldn’t be more different or distanced from each other. Circumstances force them to return to their old neighborhood, where they are confronted by the past and surprising truth about their mother’s identity.
Watch it on:  Starz

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