Entertainment

These Spanish-Language Films Were Some Of The Best Movies Of 2019 And Need To Be On Your Watch List

Spanish-speaking cinema is perhaps in one of its best moments ever. After the huge success of the Mexican film Roma in the Academy Awards, the film industry’s spotlight has been placed on Spanish-speaking filmmaking coming from Spain and Latin America. Distributors and producers scramble to find the next big thing that can disrupt the status quo. We have selected a handful of movies that show that the region is one of the most interesting today when it comes to film productions.

Latin America is still coming to terms with the colonial past that still shapes everyday interactions, and also with military dictatorships whose right-wing politics are now resurfacing much to the disdain of activists and large segments of the population. Spain has also experienced recent turbulent years that have made Spanish citizens look at the mirror and question who they are.

But there is a common denominator in these films: Spanish language, perhaps one of the most expressive in the world. Some of these films were released in their home countries in the second half of 2018, but only travelled the festival circuit or were released in 2019 in other markets such as the United States and Europe.

Araña (Spider)
Country: Chile
Director: Andrés Wood
Cast: María Valverde, Mercedes Morán, Caio Blat

Credit: Arana Bossa Nova Films

A thriller that looks into the fascist right-wing CIA supported groups that did the dirty work for the government during the Pinochet years in Chile. A testament of the dangers of extremism in the South American country that gains relevance given the current sociopolitical climate, where activists are protesting against the neoliberal policies of president Sebastian Piñera. Wood is one of the most interesting Chilean filmmakers of the past decade and joins others like Sebastian Lelio and Pablo Larrain as the next big thing in the industry, 

Así habló el cambista (The Moneychanger
Country: Uruguay
Director: Federico Veiroj
Cast: Germán de Silva, Dolores Fonzi, Daniel Hendler 

Credit: El Cambista Oriental Features

Uruguay is not what you would call a filmmaking powerhouse, but when one of its films makes it to the festival circuit it is usually with surprising results. This comedy of errors follows a master manipulator and schemer through two decades, from the fifties to the seventies, as the main character finds increasingly convoluted and shady ways to hide money in Swiss accounts. A delicate indictment of capitalist greed. 

La Flor
Country: Argentina
Director: Mariano Llinás
Cast: Elisa Carricajo, Valeria Correa, Pilar Gamboa

Credit: El Pampero Chile

A kaleidoscope in narrative terms, this Argentinian film is made up of six episodes connected by four actresses. This film is as inventive as it gets, as each episode corresponds to a cinematic genre… this movie is film history packaged in a colorful and inventive audiovisual box. The film reminds us of the playful Historias extraordinarias, an episodic movie that reminded viewers of early Quentin Tarantino and his deconstructed storytelling, 

Monos
Country: Colombia
Director: Alejandro Landes
Cast: Sofia Buenaventura, Julian Giraldo, Karen Quintero

Credit: Stela Cine

An intimate war film that follows a group of teenagers who train as commandos in the jungle. Evocative and high in symbolism, this Colombian film reminds us of the intense yet contemplative nature of Coppola and his Apocalypse Now. Colombian cinema is alive and well, and Monos is proof of this. Colombian filmmakers have done wonders recently in showcasing rural identities… please watch The Embrace of the Serpent (El abrazo de la serpiente) if you have not already done so. 

La camarista (The Chambermaid)
Country: Mexico
Director: Lila Avilés
Cast: Gabriela Cartol, Agustina Quinci, Teresa Sánchez

Credit: La Pantera

After Alfonso Cuarón revealed how complex the lives of domestic workers, generally indigenous women, is in Mexico, Lila Avilés offers us an intimate look into the soul of a chambermaid who works in a high end hotel. Practically invisible to the people for whom she makes beds and cleans rooms, her existence is an intricate dance of entering and exiting spaces of luxury and the labyrinth-like entrails of the hotel. Unmissable. Lila Avilés will surely become a strong voice in the Mexican and international film industries. 

Dolor y gloria (Pain and Glory)
Country: Spain
Director: Pedro Almodóvar
Cast: Penélope Cruz, Antonio Banderas

Credit: El Deseo Productions

The great Spanish director Pedro Almodóvar gives us what is perhaps his most personal film to date, and finds the perfect alter ego in one of his old collaborators, actor Antonio Banderas in what is perhaps the best role un his already legendary career. Perhaps the best film of the year regardless of language. And you know what to expect from Pedro: a colorful film with exuberant and sexy settings, gorgeous people, stabs at Spain’s fascist past and plenty of double entendres. 

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‘Mariah En Español’ Is The Songbird’s First EP To Be Filled With Spanish Versions Of Her Hits

Entertainment

‘Mariah En Español’ Is The Songbird’s First EP To Be Filled With Spanish Versions Of Her Hits

Columbia

Thirty years have passed since songbird supreme Mariah Carey first released her self-titled debut album. The album, which at the time topped the Billboard 200 album chart for 11 consecutive weeks was certified nine-times platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America and sold nine million copies in the United States alone. Five beloved singles came from Mariah Carey including “Vision of Love,” “Love Takes Time” and “Someday.”

In celebration of the debut album, Carey is releasing multiple new EPs, including one in Spanish!

Since July, as part of her celebrations, Carey has been dropping rare EPs and old live recordings every Friday.

Since July, Carey has announced the release of her memoir ‘The Meaning Of Mariah Carey’, due September 29, and revealed she’s releasing even more music admitting the process of writing has been “incredibly hard, humbling and healing.”

“Though there have been countless stories about me throughout my career and very public personal life, it’s been impossible to communicate the complexities and depths of my experience in any single magazine article or a ten-minute television interview,” Carey explained in a statement to her website about the book. “And even then, my words were filtered through someone else’s lens, largely satisfying someone else’s assignment to define me. This book is composed of my memories, my mishaps, my struggles, my survival and my songs. Unfiltered. I went deep into my childhood and gave the scared little girl inside of me a big voice. I let the abandoned and ambitious adolescent have her say, and the betrayed woman I became tell her side.”

A book and now a spanish EP!

Last Friday, the songbird dropped Mariah En Español, a seven-song EP that pays tribute to her Venezuelan roots. In it, fans get access to Spanish-language versions of her biggest ’90s hits. Mariah En Español includes “Mi Todo” and “Héroe.”

Carey sings Spanish for fans in this new album even though she doesn’t speak the language fluently.

Speaking about the ambitious undertaking Carey tweeted that “3 covers that I recorded for my original #1’s album and one with Spanish versions I recorded of Hero, Open Arms and My All!” and asked fans to “Please don’t judge my far-from-perfect pronunciation but I tried.”

What magic!

Check out some of her music below!

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Trans Advocacy Group Establishes First Spanish-Language Trans Hotline

Culture

Trans Advocacy Group Establishes First Spanish-Language Trans Hotline

translifeline / Instagram

Trans Lifeline is a hotline for the trans community that offers resources and counseling during tough times. COVID-19 has really exposed the inequalities in our communities and the world is having to react. That’s why Trans Lifeline offers the first Spanish-language trans hotline in the U.S.

Trans Lifeline has helped trans people since 2014.

For almost 6 years, Trans Lifeline has been a place for trans people to connect with other trans people for help. The hotline is for trans people and run by trans people to talk about trans issues without unneeded pressure. The hotline also understands the strained relationship between police officers and the trans community.

“The Hotline was, and still is, the only service in the country in which all operators are transgender,” reads the Trans Lifeline website. “Because of the particularly vulnerable relationship transgender people have with police, it is also the only service in the country with a policy against non-consensual active rescue.”

Trans Lifeline hired T Peña to run the Spanish-language service.

Peña was hired to be the Bilingual Hotline Services Coordinator. The genderqueer Afro-Cuban told Trans Lifeline that they would love to learn sign language to better engage with their partner and younger child, who are both on the autism spectrum. Peña’s position will be to make sure that trans people get the access they deserve to local services and Trans Lifeline can accomplish that.

Trans Lifeline recognized a need for a Spanish-language option for trans people in need.

According to a report from the UCLA School of Law Williams Institute, 21 percent fo adults who identify as trans are Latino. Sixteen percent of adults identifying as trans are Black. White people make up 55 percent of adults who identify as trans. The high number of trans Latinos and Latinas shows a need to have resources for our trans hermanos y hermanas.

If you are trans and speak Spanish, there is a chance for you to help.

If you are a trans person who can speak Spanish, there is a place for you to help your community. The fight for trans lives is far from over as trans women of color, particularly Black trans women face disproportionate murder and violence.

If you need help, Trans Lifeline is here for you.

The organization is here to help. With more than 98,000 calls answered and more than $500,000 in donations dispersed to help the trans community, Trans Lifeline is here to help their community.

READ: Netflix’s ‘Disclosure’ Gets Honest About The Evolution Of Trans Representation In Media

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