With half a billion speakers, Spanish is one of the most charismatic and widely-spoken languages in the world.
Spanish is one of the official six languages of the UN and according to the UNESCO, it recently commemorated one more year of helping create a connected, multicultural world. To mark down this year’s anniversary, we asked around about Spanish-language movies and here we are, spreading the word out about our findings!
You may check below a few recommendations to help you practice your Spanish and have a lovely incursion into the Spanish language cinema.
1. Papita, Maní, Tostón (2013)
A recommendation from Joshua (Venezuela)
The film is about a fanatic couple from different baseball teams and along the way there are certain anecdotes and witty moments that show the reality of the situation in my country and calls for tolerance in the midst of so much polarization. It also connects culturally with a large part of the Venezuelan population.
Watch the trailer here.
2. También la lluvia (2010)
A recommendation from Coral (Spain)
It was done by a female director, Icíar Bollain, which is already a point in its favour. Its leading actors are: Luis Tosar and Gael García Bernal.
I love how it is filmed and the context in itself. It’s a movie within a movie. A group of Spanish people travel to Bolivia to record a film about the conquest of America. They bring a new perspective of Christopher Columbus – portrayed as thirsty for gold and land. When they put together the group of Bolivians to play as extras, they find themselves living the movie itself: the struggle for water.
In 2000, Bechtel attempted to privatize water access, raising the prices to an unaffordable level. While the Spanish are attempting to record their movie, protests and strikes arise to stop the privatization manage to not only determine Bechtel (North-American multinational corporation) abandon its objective, but also to put the Spanish on the spot, since the reality that they are living is much more important than the argument they were putting forward initially. Little by little, they realize the weight of the entire affair, of the poor life of the Bolivians that is getting torn even harder.
It’s a great way to see the reflection of the ego of the Spanish director (played by Luis Tosar) and the Bolivian in the main role, in regards to how much fight there is to preserve the state of his people. Without a doubt, I recommend it!
Watch the trailer here.
3. Pájaros de Verano (2018) or Los viajes del viento (2009)
A recommendation from Patricia (Columbia)
For those who are intrigued by these 2 recommendations, Ciro Guerra is an Academy Award nominee and a familiar name at the film festivals of Cannes, Lima or Odessa. Above all gives a voice and plenty of spotlight to Colombia’s indigenous tribes. Both of these lovely recommendations offer a good introduction to Northern Colombia’s rich culture, as well as start a complex conversation on the implications of the drug trade, social inequalities and cultural survival.
4. Nosotros los nobles (2013) or Macario (1960)
A recommendation from Max (Mexico)
Lastly, if you want to experience a traditional Mexican story you can watch “Macario” (1960). A black and white movie. It is based on the traditional “Dia de muertos” (Day of the Dead), one of the oldest Mexican culture festivities. If you want something more light, you can watch “Nosotros los nobles” (2013), a comedy movie about a bunch of rich guys that suddenly lose all their wealth and have to start all over again from zero, a funny critique of the classism in Mexico.
And that’s all, folks! We hope this list managed to add a few items on your watchlist. Do not hesitate to share with us your own favourites!
In the meantime, which one is next on your movie reel from our suggestions?
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