Hispanic Heritage Month is a time to recognize and celebrate the many contributions, diverse cultures, and extensive histories of the American Latino community. Each year, the United States observed this nationally from September 15th to October 15th. There are many different ways to be involved, such as through the arts, literature, history, food festivals, and simply learning from others within the community and getting to know their perspective. Before this comes to an end later this week, these are a few movies to consider watching in celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month.
- Coco, 2017
Disney Pixar’s Coco is a movie following a young boy named Miguel in Mexico. He dreams of becoming a musician despite his family being against anything related to music for generations. After being determined to play music, he finds himself in trouble and lands in the Land of the Dead. In an effort to make it back to the real world, Miguel embarks on a journey that leads him to learn the truth behind his family history. Coco wraps you up in Mexican culture, allowing viewers to learn more about Día de Los Muertos, celebrated in early November. I consider this to be a great movie and is most definitely a tear-jerker.
- La Bamba, 1987
This movie follows the real-life story of Ritchie Valens in Los Angeles, who becomes a success within the rock ‘n’ roll scene in the late 1950s. Ritchie Valens was a Mexican-American guitarist, singer, and songwriter credited for being a rock ‘n’ roll pioneer, as well as a forefather of the Chicano rock movement. He is well known for several hits, most notably “La Bamba”, which he adapted from a Mexican folk song. His life came to a tragic end in 1959 in a plane crash alongside fellow musicians, one of them being Buddy Holly.
- Selena, 1997
This biographical drama tells the story of Selena Quintanilla, a Mexican-American musician on the rise to fame in the early 1990s. Selena navigates through getting accustomed to singing in Spanish and being in touch with her roots, the stress of working hard towards her dream and seeking mainstream stardom to eventually record an English-language album. Unfortunately, her success was cut short after her life ended in a tragedy.
- in the heights, 2021
This musical drama was adapted into a film based on a stage musical of the same name by Hudes and Lin-Manual Miranda, well-known for Hamilton. This musical tells the story of the predominantly Dominican neighborhood of Washington Heights in Upper Manhattan. As the film progresses, viewers follow various members of their community and their dreams for a better life.
- ENCANTO, 2021
Last but certainly not least, Disney Pixar’s Encanto. This movie follows the Madrigal’s, a family living in the mountains of Colombia with magical powers, also known as their gifts. This magic is known as their encanto, blessing every child in the family with a unique gift, except for Mirabel who struggles with this fact. This movie gained popularity due to it being the first Disney movie to explore Colombian heritage, all while remaining accurate to the culture and having great music. This movie also does a great job at showing that there is no particular look when it comes to being a part of the Hispanic community, which can be seen with all the characters of the same family.