Hispanic Films are collectively regarded as films of Spanish or Latin American culture. These films are rich and diverse, portraying Latin American culture with their main centers of production in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico.
“Hispanic” is used for Spanish-speaking countries in South and Central America. In popular culture, the word Latin, Latino or Latinx.
Hispanic Films started to flourish after the introduction of sound. They are often regarded as Cinema having raw treatment, violence and realistic approach of Latin American lifestyle.
The popular Hispanic Films, cinephiles would be aware of are Alfonso Cuaron’s “Roma” (2020) and Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth.”
But today, leaving aside the popular ones, we are going to list exceptional and underrated Hispanic films directed by Hispanic Film Directors. These films are our top recommendations and you should really check out.
10. IXCANUL (2015) Dir. Jayro Bustamante
Ixcanul (meaning “volcano”) is a Guatemalan drama film, which marks the debut of writer and director Jayro Bustamante. The film is known to be the first film that uses the Kaqchikel language of the Mayan family.
The story is set up on the slopes of an active volcano in Guatemala, where a marriage is arranged for 17-year-old María by her Kaqchikel parents.
9. A Fantastic Woman (2017) Dir. Sebastián Lelio
A Fantastic Woman is a drama film directed by Sebastián Lelio It was officially selected as the Chilean entry for the Best Foreign Language Film where it won in the 90th Academy Awards.
It tells the tale of Marina, a transgender woman who works as a daytime waitress and nightclub singer in the night. Conflicted by the death of her older boyfriend, she becomes a suspect for the same, and finally pursues her innocence.
8. The Secret In Their Eyes (2009) Dir. José Campanella
The Secret in Their Eyes is a crime drama film directed by Juan José Campanella. The narrative is based on the novel The Question in Their Eyes.
Told in a non-linear narrative, the story portrays a judicial employee and his boss, a law clerk during 1974, who struggles to investigate a rape and murder case.
This film is among our favorite Hispanic Films and should not be missed.
7. Eternity (2017) Dir. Oscar Catacora
Eternity is a Peruvian drama film directed by Oscar Catacora. It was selected as the Peruvian entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 91st Academy Awards, but it was not nominated.
It follows an elderly couple who try to survive in Los Andes of Peru while they await their son.
6. Museo (2018) Dir. Alonso Ruizpalacios
Museum is a Mexican drama heist film directed by Alonso Ruizpalacios, and produced and written by Ruizpalacios and Manuel Alcalá.
The story follows a group of criminals in the year 1985, who mock the security of the National Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City, in order to extract 140 pre-Hispanic artifacts from the museum.
This is one of the most engaging Hispanic Films out there. Don’t miss it.
5. Bad Hair (2013) Dir. Mariana Rondón
Bad Hair is a 2013 Venezuelan drama film written and directed by Mariana Rondón.
It narrates the story of a nine-year-old boy’s obsession with straightening his hair which elicits a tidal wave of homophobic panic in his hard-working mother.
4. 7 Boxes (2012) Dir. Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori
7 Boxes is a Paraguayan thriller film directed by Juan Carlos Maneglia and Tana Schémbori.
It narrates the story of a man named Victor who gets an uncommon proposal to carry 7 strange boxes of unknown content through the market, but things get conflicted along the way.
3. Volver (2006) Dir. Pedro Almodóvar
Volver (meaning “to go back”) is a Spanish comedy-drama film written and directed by Pedro Almodóvar.
It tells the story of Sole, a woman,who visits her village to attend the funeral of her aunt. However, she encounters the ghost of her mother who died years ago, which provides ground for horror.
2. A Twelve Year Night (2018) Dir. Álvaro Brechner
A Twelve-Year Night is a Uruguayan drama film directed by Álvaro Brechner.
The film portrays a plot about the 12-year incarceration of members of the Tupamaros, a left-wing urban guerrilla group active in the 60s and the 70s. The three captivated men are held in solitary confinement for twelve years. Among them is Pepe Mujica who later became president of Uruguay.
It can easily be counted as one of the most striking Hispanic Films ever made.
1. Embrace Of The Serpent (2015) Dir. Ciro Guerra
Embrace of the Serpent is a adventure drama film directed by Ciro Guerra.
The film is entirely shot in black and white and portrays the relationship between Karamakate, an Amazonian shaman, the last survivor of his people, and the two scientists from different period, who work in association to discover the scared healing plant in the dense amazon.
Here is our best recommendation of Hispanic Films Directed by Hispanic Directors, still if you think a name is missing, please leave it in the comments section. We would love to incorporate the title in this list.
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