Artists tell stories from moments in history like this and, as such, the immigration crisis is being told. Filmmaker Daniel Sawka made a short film “Icebox” about the detention of minors in the U.S. That same short film of 33 seconds is being extended into a feature film to further tell the story about one young boy’s tale in a detention center. The film was presented at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.
“Icebox” is a short film starring Anthony Gonzalez, who played the beloved Miguel in Pixar’s “Coco.”
The film is about a young boy, played by Gonzalez, who becomes trapped inside “America’s rigid immigration process.” You see the young boy struggle to understand what is happening as he is manhandled by immigration officers.
The film touches on gang violence in Honduras and the reason so many minors are being forced to flee their country.
CREDIT: Gracie Films
Gonzalez plays Oscar who’s being held in a detention center, otherwise known as an ice box. The detention centers are referred too as ice boxes because they are kept at very cold temperatures.
According to the film’s website, Oscar is trying to gain control of his life.
CREDIT: Gracie Films
It is hard to tell what brought Oscar to the U.S. It might seem like he is an unaccompanied minor, however, unaccompanied minors are being created by the administration separating families. It is impossible to tell definitively if his parents were with him at the border until the movie is released.
It’s unclear if Gonzalez will play Oscar once again, but “Icebox” director Daniel Sawka is involved in the feature film version. He says it was his own story of immigration that made him want to do the film.
“For generations on my father’s side, people have been forced to migrate and relocate and find new homes,” Sawka said in an interview with Business Insider. “It’s something I never experienced, but I was brought up on these stories and I wanted to find out more. Understand it better.”
In the last few years, Latinos have been blowing up the entertainment industry. Mexican directors have won four of the last five Oscars in the Best Director category. Netflix has produced one after the other of Spanish-language television series and the hit reboot of “One Day at a Time.” We’re seeing Latinos on screen as detectives, veterans, mothers, abuelitas, and even in animation.
HBO is one of those production companies that sees Latinos as an audience to celebrate, and we’re loving how easy they’re making it for us to find our people with our own genre. We rounded up HBO’s featured list along with all the binge-worthy need-to-knows.
This show is eclectic as anything, with a protagonist named Carlo Antonini, who is a psychiatrist/psychologist/psychoanalyst. Antonini dabbles in the most unusual cases possible, some of which put his family in danger. With a man whose normal day to day includes all the abnormal, it’s no surprise that his threshold in his personal life isn’t much different.
Watch Antonini juggle dating a street performer, a young Goth who practices vampirism, and so, so much more.
“Cappadocia: Un Lugar Sin Perdón”
Filmed in Mexico, “Capadocia” first ran in 2008 for three seasons but still remains a solid telenovela thriller. This is more than a story about women in a Mexico City industrial complex. It’s about attorney Teresa Lagos who fights for their rights as she learns that officials are experimenting on the women.
Think of it as the Mexican, novela version of “Orange is the New Black.”
One of the longest standing series on HBO Latino, “El Negocio” stars three, independent women in the sex working industry who show the world that they are in fact, savvy business women who create a brand for themselves. Using marketing, business strategy and their keen intellects, they climb to the top of the business.
You don’t hear the name Alice too often for Latinos, but it works for esa mujer who essentially falls down an Alice in Wonderland-esque rabbit hole. It all happens when she has to go to Sao Paulo for her father’s funeral. With opportunities abundant, Alice starts a brand new life, with a new world of friends and experiences.
This reads like a Spanish “Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown” meets sports. You can find yourself in Romanza Gym, the elite boxing gym of Mexico, meet Argentina’s Narvaez boxing family even and meet Mexican parachuter Tono Montano, a blind surfer who uses his other senses to feel the waves.
If you couldn’t get enough of “Wild, Wild Country” and all things culty, get yourself some “Dios Inc.” We start by meeting Dr. Salvador Pereyra who returns to Mexico after spending 10 years in the Middle East studying religions. Once his discovery of the tomb of Marduk becomes public knowledge, a sect plagiarizes his work and starts a cult.
Salvador teams up with a young (y tan cute) Sci-Fi writer to stop the cult before something sinister happens.
HBO’s biggest Latino hit yet, “Dr. Reggaeton” is a three part series hosted by comedian Frankie Quinones. Each episode features a special guest, like Farruko, Bad Bunny & Jacob Forever. Dr. Reggaeton gets boricua af once he starts reading letters from fans asking for love advice from the doc and his guests.
“Chumel con Chumel Torres”
He’s the Mexican John Oliver with the insight and humor that only a Latino can bring to the current situation in the United States. He doesn’t stop there though. Chumel reports on all things politics and opinion from the U.S. to Latin America. Prepare for some dark humor, very, very dark.
Led by Argentinian and Emmy-nominated Leonardo Sbaraglia, who plays hypnotist Natalio Arenas, this series is based on an Argentinian cult comic book of the same name. Arenas is barely functioning with a severe case of insomnia when he lands a stage show gig.
Wait until he comes face to face with his professional/personal enemy who hypnotized him into the insomnia in the first place.
“El Jardín de Bronce”
Set in Buenos Aires, this tells the story of how a young couple’s otherwise normal life was completely turned upside down when their four-year-old daughter vanishes on the metro.
The police have no motives, clues, or witnesses, so it’s up to Fabian and Lila to find their child. A whole decade passes, and the most nauseating plot twists will rivet you for eight, scintillating episodes.
OK, so you finished “Shades of Blue” and you need more detective work on your screen. Try this 2014 series that seems like an alternate ending to “Shades of Blue,” if Harlee never “got healed.”
All you need to know is that a former cop’s shady past with his ex-lover and psychiatrist come to a head when they are forced to team up and find a serial killer who could end it all for them.
This show is everything just for the fashion inspo. Set in Sao Paulo in the 1970s, our eyes are set on a federal film censor, Vicente, who seems to be obsessed with a risque movie, “The Hot Student.” Right off the bat, he censors the movie, but his attraction to the lead actress takes him out of his comfort zone and straight into the city’s red-light district.
Latinos know horror like nobody else, because our moms and abuelitas had the most horrifying cautionary tales you could ever imagine. Find out which ones were just your mami with her big talk and which ones are legendary across Latin America (i.e. Chupacabra, La Sayona, y La Ouija).
This animated series brings those tales that were passed down generation to generation to this generation’s format: 2-D computer animated life. Check out this collection of short films for those work breaks when you’re craving horror, but only have a few minutes.
“Playing for Change”
This series of short sets (~8 min) interview artists from all over Latin America to create a series of music videos. For one episode, HBO Latino gathered over 70 Cuban artists across the world and asked them to sing “Guantanamera,” and then fused them all together for the iconic song, sung by la gente.
OK, so you’re looking for a heartwarmer? This show plays like “Humans of New York,” pero Latinos of the World. All of the people are just regular people doing incredible things to pull people up from poverty, legal detention and more.
Watch women offer relief to immigrants, retired teachers teach astronomy on a school bus transformed astronomical observatory, and so much more. You kind of have to see it to believe it.
“La Vida Secreta de las Parejas”
We’ve got a sexologist in the house. Sofia Prado runs a center for alternative couples therapy and prides herself on changing couples’ lives, but she has her own drama to untangle. She casually gets caught up in a major corruption investigation, while also holding onto a big secret – her recurring hallucinations.
Set in Sao Paulo, this show won’t fail to entertain you.
“Hijos del Carnaval”
Can you guess this is based in Rio de Janeiro? We follow the story of Anesio Gebara, a samba school-owning, illegal lottery running and overall intimidating man and his complicated relationships with his sons. By the way, those sons are all in on his slot machine electronic card smuggling business, and worse.
You were waiting for a drug lord to enter this list weren’t you? The season opens up with a major drug-trafficking operation bust at the border of Bolivia and Chile. We then follow the story of four fugitive men as they try to pull themselves out of the hole they’re buried in.
At first glance, this show doesn’t seem that exciting. Sr. Avila is a middle-class life insurance salesman, father and husband. Claro lives a double life as a hit man. When his business savvy seeps into his second life and he begins to head an organization of contract assassins. His double lives unwittingly begin to merge into one, and the results are, at the very least, entertaining.
“Mujer de Fases”
Released in 2012, we get to watch 30-something, recently divorced real estate agent Grace begin a new life. You’d think this is a rom-com, but it’s much more comedic than it is romantic as Grace endures a parade of ridiculous love interests with the support of her overbearing mami, Hilda, and her bestie, Selma.
Whatever you’ll be bingeing tonight, we’re happy HBO is helping to reduce the worst part of streaming television: the selection process. Studies show that people spend an average of 45 minutes searching for something to watch before they click play. De nada.