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Hispanic Heritage Month - Documentaries covering Latino & Hispanic experiences in the United States

Posted by Eric Brightwell, October 2, 2009 04:00pm | Post a Comment
For Hispanic Heritage Month, if you want to get an interesting and informed look at Latino issues, you could probably do worse than checking out a documentary... Most cover a handful of issues and often from different perspectives. Check the Latino/Spanish Special Interest section at Amoeba for availability.

War - 
There are several documentaries that focus on Latino and Hispanic issues in American wars. From Juan Ponce de León and Hernan de Soto sniffing around the modern day US in search of eternal youth and gold, through aggression between the US, Mexico and Spain, to the disproportionate reliance on Latinos to fight our modern wars, these DVDs cover a lot of territory.

American Experience: Remember the Alamo Conquistadors DVDLa Corta Vida de José Antonio Gutierrez Crucible of Empire - The Spanish American War The History Channel Presents The Alamo The Mexican-American War dvd East LA Marine

Immigration - It shouldn't come as a surprise that the number one topic regarding Latino issues is the subject of immigration, primarily of the undocumented variety. What may come as more of a surprise is that one in five illegal immigrants to the US isn't Latino... something zero documentaries deal with, to my knowledge.

Balseros Border 2006 DVD Border Patrol - America's Gatekeepers Border War - The Battle over Illegal Immigration Cochise County USA – Cries from the Border Dying to Get In: A Film by Brett Tolley Farmingville DVD El Inmigrante Mojados - Through the Night Romántico Wetback DVD

Gangs - People love them some gang documentaries. Currently, there are suprisingly few about Latino gangs, whilst every week it seems like there's some new one made about the safely-behind-us, romanticized Cosa Nostra.

Bangin' – The Life of a Latino Gangster Cocaine Cowboys world's most dangerous gang

Artists - Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dali account for nearly every documentary about Latino and Hispanic artists. I realize that neither ever became American citizens, but they worked in, interacted with, and affected the US in deeply felt ways. For example, 4 in 5 dorm residents still has some Dali poster or other, usually next to Bob Marley.

Biography - Frida Kahlo Dali Dimension – Decoding the Mind of a Genius Dali in New York Frida Kahlo - La Cinta que Envuelve una Bomba Grandes Muralistas Great Women Artists - Frida Kahlo The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo Mujeres Revolucionarias Salvador Dali - Artists of the 20th Century Portrait of Artists as Latino Immigrants

Hollywood -
The Latino experience in Hollywood is pretty limited, given the population make-up of the US. Perhaps that's why there are so few documentaries about the subject.
 
The Bronze Screen Hispanic Hollywood - Then and Now Hispanic Hollywood

Communities - The US is still a very segregated society and established Latino communities in the US are still often separate, self-contained microcosms.

The Chavez Ravine A Class Apart mississippi chicken !Yo Soy Boricua, Pa’Que Tu Lo Sepas! 

Cultural Observances -
These documentaries focus on holidays and commemorations... and Walter Mercado, who defies categorization in nearly every way.

Cinco de Mayo - History Channel DVD Day of the Dead Food for the Ancestors DVD Las Maravillosas Recetas de Walter Mercado 

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Relevant Tags

Minorities (6), Latinos (12), Hispanics (3), Documentaries (9), Documentary (23), Latino (8), Hispanic (5), Hispanic Heritage Month (34), Gangs (3), Artists (10), War (17), Latino Cinema (7), Immigration (11), Latino/spanish (3), Latino/spanish Cinema (9), Latino/spanish Special Interest (1)