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Research Guides

National Hispanic/Latinx Heritage Month

Check out LATINO AMERICANS, the first major documentary series for television on PBS. The series chronicles more than 500 years of history and experiences of Latinx people in the US.

We also recommend videos available through Kanopy.

Films

Film Cover of Some Girls

Some Girls

This feature documentary follows a group of troubled Latina teens from a Bronx-based suicide prevention program who are transformed by an exploration of their roots via the use of ancestral DNA testing, followed by a trip to the Dominican Republic.

On that journey, the white supremacist narratives about American history they've been taught are challenged, leaving them free to reconstruct their own respective identities. What does it really mean to be American? And, more importantly, what does that look like?

Film Cover of Latinos Beyond Reel

Latinos Beyond Reel

In Latinos Beyond Reel, filmmakers Miguel Picker and Chyng Sun examine how US news and entertainment media portray -- and do not portray -- Latinos. Drawing on the insights of Latino scholars, journalists, community leaders, actors, directors, and producers, they uncover a pattern of gross misrepresentation and gross under-representation -- a world in which Latinos tend to appear, if at all, as gangsters and Mexican bandits, harlots and prostitutes, drug dealers and welfare-leeching illegals.

The film challenges viewers to think critically about the wide-ranging effects of these media stereotypes, and to envision alternative representations and models of production more capable of capturing the humanity and diversity of real Latinos. 

Film Cover of Cocote

Cocote

A rapturous crime fable set in the Dominican Republic, Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Arias’ COCOTE follows Alberto, a kind-hearted gardener returning home to attend his father’s funeral. When he discovers that a powerful local figure is responsible for his father’s death, Alberto realizes that he’s been summoned by his family to avenge the murder. It’s an unthinkable act — especially for him, an Evangelical Christian. But as pressure mounts, he sees few ways out. Questions of faith, tradition and honor course through this electrifying film, which, seemingly at the speed of thought itself, jumps between film formats, colors, and aspect ratios, radically envisioning a community torn asunder by senseless violence.

Film Cover of Stolen Education

Stolen Education

As a 9 year-old second grader, Lupe had been forced to remain in the first grade for three years, not because of her academic performance but solely because she was Mexican American. She was one of eight young students who testified in a federal court case in 1956 to end the discriminatory practice (Hernandez et al. v. Driscoll Consolidated Independent School District), one of the first post-Brown desegregation court cases to be litigated.

STOLEN EDUCATION portrays the courage of these young people, testifying in an era when fear and intimidation were used to maintain racial hierarchy and control. The students won the case, but for almost sixty years the case was never spoken about in the farming community where they lived despite its significance.

Film Cover of Magical Andes

Magical Andes

From Argentina to Colombia, journey through South America's mountains and meet the people whose bond with the Andes has led them to live unique lives.

Film Cover of Underwater Dreams

Underwater Dreams

Underwater Dreams, written and directed by Mary Mazzio, and narrated by Michael Peña, is an epic story of how the sons of undocumented Mexican immigrants learned how to build an underwater robot from Home Depot parts. And defeat engineering powerhouse MIT in the process.

Film Cover of Immigration Nation

Immigration Nation

With unprecedented access to ICE operations, as well as moving portraits of immigrants, this docuseries takes a deep look at US immigration today.

Film Cover of A Fantastic Woman

A Fantastic Woman

Marina and Orlando are in love and planning their future, when one night Orlando suddenly falls ill and passes away. Instead of being able to mourn her lover, Marina is treated with suspicion by authorities and with disdain by his family. She is forbidden to attend his funeral and thrown out of the apartment they shared. Marina is a trans woman and for most of Orlando’s family, her sexual identity is a perversion. So she must battle the very same forces that she has spent a lifetime fighting just to become the woman she is now – a complex, strong, forthright and fantastic.

Film Cover of Beatriz at Dinner

Beatriz at Dinner

Beatriz (Salma Hayek), an immigrant from a poor town in Mexico, has drawn on her innate kindness to build a career as a spiritual health practitioner in Los Angeles. Doug Strutt (John Lithgow) is a cutthroat, self-satisfied billionaire real estate developer. When these two opposites meet at a dinner party, their worlds collide and neither will ever be the same.

Film Cover of La Yuma

La Yuma

Nicaragua's first full-length feature in 20 years, LA YUMA tells the story of a young woman who dreams of transcending her bleak life in the slums of Managua by becoming a boxer. The film provides a glimpse of life in a country where gender and class inequality are an everyday challenge.

Film cover of Walkout

Walkout

This 'HBO Films' production details the stirring true story of a group of Mexican American students who staged a compelling 1968 walkout to protest the injustices of the public high-school system in East Los Angeles.

Film Cover of La Bestia

La Bestia

The search for the American dream pushes thousands of American centers across Mexico illegally, while riding on the roofs of freight trains to reach the border with the United States.

Clips