Due to the pandemic, we are spending more time at home, and in front of a television. We’ve binge watched old TV shows, streamed the latest film releases, and are constantly on the hunt for fresh content that entertains, as well as educates. Although we feel like we’ve seen it all, there are still so many cool movies to watch.
While Latinx representation is still limited in Hollywood, we’re excited for the upcoming Latinx-centered films. We want you to stay home, stay safe, and stay entertained, while enjoying the various movies that uplift the Latinx experience. That’s why we looked across Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, and other online platforms, and found 10 must-see Latinx films that you can stream right now. Call your friends and family (remotely), get some snacks, press play, and enjoy a Latinx movie night.
Rompan Todo: La Historia del Rock en America Latina
Starting with Ritchie Valens’ rock ‘n’ roll, and going through history up until modern reggaeton and rap, Rompan Todo: The History of Rock in Latin America traces how generations of rockers in Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, and other Latinx countries reflected the turbulent times with their rebellion and sound. You’ll want to watch this documentary with a notebook, as you’ll learn about cool artists, albums, and songs that you’ll want to check out.
Watch Rompan Todo on Netflix
Disney has made it a point to include more diverse stories among its beautiful, animated offerings. The latest country to be seen through the Disney lens is Colombia, where the upcoming film Encanto is set. It tells the story of the Madrigals and Mirabel, who is the only person in her family who isn’t magical. She discovers that the magic surrounding the Encanto, the town where she lives, is in danger, and she decides that as the only ordinary Madrigal, she might be the only one who can help. This will no doubt explore the magical realism that the work of iconic Colombian writer Gabriel Garcia Marquez is known for. Encanto is being co-directed and co-written by Charise Castro Smith, and will contain music courtesy of Lin-Manuel Miranda.
Encancto is set to be released on Nov. 24.
Mucho Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado
Puerto Rican astrologer, actor, writer, and dancer Walter Mercado became a Latinx cultural icon, and a spiritual advisor for millions of Latinos. He entered the households of families everywhere, having the ability to make everyone in those homes become silent, waiting to hear their horoscope. We get a glimpse into the life of the mysterious figure, including his vulnerable side, and why he disappeared, in the Netflix documentary Mucho Mucho Mucho Amor: The Legend of Walter Mercado.
Watch Mucho Mucho Mucho Amor on Netflix
Carlos Almaraz: Playing with Fire
The late Mexican artist Carlos Almaraz is an icon in the art world having been a member of the Chicano artists collective Los Four, an important part of the Chicano Art Movement, and an activist, who created art for Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, as well as Luis Valdez’s Teatro Campesino. The documentary Carlos Almaraz: Playing with Fire chronicles Almaraz’s life and work through interviews and archival footage.
Watch Carlos Almaraz: Playing with Fire on Netflix
You are never too old to watch stunning animated films, and learn the important lessons included within them. One you have to catch is Pachamama, which is currently streaming on Netflix. Directed by Juan Antin, and written by Antin and Christophe Poujol, Pachamama takes us to the Andes of Peru, where 10-year-old Tepulpaï ventures off to retrieve the Huaca (a sacred monument) after it is stolen. On his journey, he meets Naira, who helps him in his search. Pachamama is a must-see movie that focuses on Indigenous culture, colonialism, and the environment.
Watch Pachamama on Netflix
Afro-Latinx Revolution: Puerto Rico
Afro-Latinxs, their history, and their culture have been continuously left out of the Latinx conversation. Thankfully, we are learning more about this often neglected and repressed part of Latinx identity. This is in part to the growth of Afro-Latinx documentaries, such as Afro-Latinx Revolution: Puerto Rico. Produced by theGrio in parternship with the Pulitzer Center, the film follows senior correspondent Natasha S. Alford as she travels to Loiza in 2019, conducting interviews and offering insight into the Afro-Puerto Rican experience.
Watch Afro-Latinx Revolution: Puerto Rico on YouTube
After the Raid: A Documentary Short
Immigration issues can seem like a political problem far away from peoples’ own personal experience. It’s the stories of those who have gone through it that help put faces and names to the horror of what’s currently happening to countless families. Rodrigo Reye’s 2019 documentary short, After the Raid, takes viewers to Grainger County, Tennessee, where 97 undocumented workers were arrested during a raid the previous year. There, we meet Yahel, whose husband is ripped away from her and their children, a Catholic church that offers community and support instead of judgement, and get a look into the real effects of deportation.
Watch After the Raid on Netflix
Guatemala: Heart of the Mayan World
Latinxs often know a lot about their homeland but may not be as familiar with other Latin American nations. It’s important to delve into the different cultural markers that represent each country. Guatemala: Heart of the Mayan World is a documentary on Netflix that gives viewers a look into the Central American nation. You’ll get to see Guatemala’s beautiful nature, visit Mayan cities, and more, “from Sierra de las Minas to Esquipulas.”
Watch Guatemala: Heart of the Mayan World on Netflix
Black in Latin America
Harvard Professor Henry Louis Gates, Jr. made a four-episode documentary television series based off of his book Black in Latin America. The must-watch program (currently airing on Amazon and on YouTube) takes a closer look at the Afro-Latinx cultures of the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Brazil, Mexico, and Peru.
Watch Black in Latin America on YouTube
Ya No Estoy Aqui/I’m No Longer Here
The film No Estoy Aqui (I’m No Longer Here) offers a glimpse into the Cholombiano subculture of Monterrey, Mexico, while also sharing the narrative of teenager Ulises. Ulises is a gang/dance crew leader who escapes violence by being smuggled into Queens, New York. In the movie, we see his life in between two worlds, and his struggles that’s all set to cumbia music.
Watch I’m No Longer Here on Netflix