Kanopy users, check out some of these films that honor Hispanic actors, filmmakers, and culture perfect for Hispanic Heritage Month. Are you new to Kanopy? Visit our Kanopy page for more information and directions to get started.
I’m Leaving Now
Felipe, an undocumented Mexican immigrant, has reached a crossroad. After living 16 years in Brooklyn, working three-paying jobs, and sending the bulk of his earnings to his wife and children in Mexico, he’s decided to return home to the family he hasn’t seen in almost two decades. But when he informs them of his plans, he discovers that they’ve squandered the money, are deeply in debt and don’t want him to return. They need him to stay in the U.S. and continue to earn. Shot over two years in the heart of Brooklyn’s immigrant community, I’m Leaving Now is a searing and intimate portrait of one undocumented worker on the margins.
Bad Hair/Pelo Malo
A nine-year-old boy’s preening obsession with straightening his hair elicits a tidal wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother, in this tender but clear-eyed coming of-age tale. Junior is a beautiful boy, with big brown eyes, a delicate frame, and a head of luxurious dark curls. But Junior aches to straighten those curls, to acquire a whole new look befitting his emerging fantasy image of himself as a long-haired singer. Winner of Best Film at the Havana Film Festival. Official Selection at the Toronto International Film Festival.
The Graduates/Los Graduados
The Graduates/Los Graduados explores pressing issues in education today through the eyes of six Latino and Latina students from across the United States. More than a survey of contemporary policy debates, the bilingual, two-part film offers first-hand perspectives on key challenges facing Latino high school students and their families, educators, and community leaders. It is the story of the graduates who will make up America’s future. Presented over two nights, the film follows six teenagers – three girls and three boys – each with their own unique obstacles to overcome.
Diego Echeverria’s Los Sures skillfully represents the challenges of its time: drugs, gang violence, crime, abandoned real estate, racial tension, single-parent homes, and inadequate local resources in Los Sures, a Puerto Rican barrio in Brooklyn. Five different people living in this Brooklyn neighborhood, are the focus of five episodes in this documentary. As seen through the eyes and ears of each of the barrio’s five inhabitants, the litter-strewn streets and crumbling tenements representative of the worst urban blight cannot completely dominate the human spirit.
Eva Doesn’t Sleep/Eva no Duerme
Argentina, 1952: The death of Eva Peron sparks a 25-year clash between opposing military coups over the burial of her embalmed corpse, now a beloved and hated political symbol. Evita’s posthumous legacy is told through a series of isolated incidents featuring the expert doctor obsessively carrying out her embalming, an army colonel’s secret mission to transport the body back to Argentina, and the kidnapping of a military dictator who is forced to reveal the corpse’s location.
Heated tempers, frustrated desires and dashed hopes plague a diverse group of individuals whose lives cross paths in Mexico City. There is the bar-owner’s son, Chava (Juan Manuel Bernal), who yearns to emigrate to America. A poor barber, Abel (Bruno Bichir), is madly in love with the gorgeous Alma (Salma Hayek), who eventually becomes a high-class prostitute. Finally, there is Susanita (Margarita Sanz), the desperate spinster who pursues many love affairs in hopes of finding a husband. Adapted from the novel of the Egyptian Nobel prize winner Naguib Mahfuz.
Jesus is a young hairdresser working at a Havana nightclub that showcases drag performers, who dreams of being a performer himself. But when his father has
different expectations, the men struggle to understand one another and reconcile as a family. Viva is a 2015 Spanish-language Irish drama film, set in Cuba, directed by Paddy
Breathnach and written by Mark O’Halloran. The film was selected as the Irish entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 88th Academy Awards. It made the December
shortlist of nine films, but was not nominated.
Three grown sisters, Maribel, Leticia and Carmen try to cope and live with the fact that their father Martin, a veteran chef, is slowly losing his sense of taste. Martin has one simple rule: be at home for Sunday dinner and attendance is both mandatory and nonnegotiable. A rift in the family develops when the sisters develop relationships and an obnoxious woman sets her sights on Martin’s affections. Winner of Best Supporting Actress in a Motion Picture (Elizabeth Pena) and nominated for Outstanding Motion Picture and Outstanding Director in a Motion Picture at the ALMA Awards. Winner of Best Theatrical Feature Film at the Imagen Foundation Awards.
Lila & Eve
Struggling to cope with the loss of her 18-year old son Stephon to drug violence in the neighborhood, a grieving mother Lila (Academy-Award Nominee Viola Davis), attends a support group for mothers whose children have been murdered. There she meets Eve (Jennifer Lopez), a candid kindred spirit. Lila commiserates with Eve on her desire for justice and the fact that the local police lack the resources necessary to pursue her son’s case. Encouraged by Eve, the two set out to investigate who killed Stephon. Lila & Eve screened at the Sundance Film Festival, and Viola Davis was nominated for “Best Actress” at the Image Awards.
East Side Sushi
This critically acclaimed indie favorite was the winner of awards at 9 different film festivals, including Best Narrative Feature at SF Indie Fest. Single mom Juana can slice and dice anything with great speed and precision. After working at a fruit-vending cart for years, she decides to take a job at a local Japanese restaurant. Intrigued by the food, she learns to make a multitude of sushi on her own. Eventually she attempts to become a sushi chef, but is unable to because she is the ‘wrong’ race and gender. Against all odds, she embarks on a journey of self-discovery, determined to not let anyone stop her from achieving her dream.