Entertainment

11 Movies About Growing Up Latino That’ll Have You Laughing And Sobbing Your Eyes Out

Movies can play such an important part in our lives as we grow up – they affect us more than we think, and we remember them long into adulthood and beyond. Here are 11 amazing Latino coming-of-age films that may speak to your childhood…

1. “Mosquita Y Mari” (2012)

Mosquita y Mari Trailer from Augie Robles on Vimeo.

This 2012 Official Sundance Selection and the Official Selection of the San Francisco International Film Festival tells us about two “young Chicanas [who] contemplate life when they stir unexpected desires in each other.” Aurora Guerrero, the writer and director, crafted something truly incredible and special, touching on what it’s like to be a queer woman of color.

2. “Por La Libre” (2000)

Ahhh, a film about growing pains. It follows Rodrigo and Rocco as they take a journey from Mexico City to Acapulco to accomplish their grandfather’s last wish. It hits home for anyone dealing with family issues, sexuality, and fighting with someone you’re really close to; like your cousins, brothers or sisters.

3. “The Best Things In The World” (2010)

Oh goodness, the feels in this movie! It tells the story of one family’s experience as the parents divorce, and the father comes out as gay. It’s a beautiful, funny, sad Brazilian film that hits on real issues that Latino families face. Get ready to laugh and cry.

4. “Confissões de Adolescente” (2014)

Give me a movie about growing up with sisters and I’ll give you my soul, tears, emotions… everything. How many of us grew up in a Latina household fighting, nagging, crying, and loving each other?! This 2014 film is based off the diaries of Maria Mariana, who also stars in the film!

5. “The Way He Looks” (2014)

Based on the 2010 short film, “I Don’t Want to Go Back Alone, is about a blind teenager, his best friend Giovana, and their changing relationship when Gabriel is introduced. It’s sweet, poignant, and touches on the relationship between two teenagers that constantly blurs the line between friendship and something more.

6. “The Year My Parents Went On Vacation” (2006)

This film is the perfect mix of drama and comedy exploring themes of politics and familial discord, all centered around a young boy’s obsession with the World Cup. It’s part coming of age, part political commentary, part nostalgic tale and will leave your heart aching. For anyone who has had to live the repercussions of their parents’ lives, this is for you.

7. “Lake Tahoe” (2008)

This film isn’t just visually unique and interesting. The story is fascinating and focuses on Juan, who crashes his family car into a pole and attempts to fix it. Of course, you can bet that he meets some interesting characters his way to fix his car that ultimately change his life.

8. “Alamar” (2009)

This documentary style film is about a young boy visiting his father on the Banco Chinchorro. It’s got a 91% on Rotten Tomatoes, so you know it’s pretty damn amazing. It’s about falling in love with nature, which is so gorgeously shot, and the relationship between the father and son will bring you to tears.

Read: Quiz: How Well Do You Know Latino Movies? Can You Guess Em By a Screenshot

9. “I Like It Like That” (1994)

This Bronx-based comedy is about the trials and tribulations a young, poor Puerto Rican couple faces. If you’re Puerto Rican, you’ll find yourself raising hands in praise to the relatable moments in the film, and also just in appreciation of the struggle.

10. “Raising Victor Vargas” (2002)

A tale of a Dominican ladies’ man! This comedy-drama depicts life in the early 2000’s in New York City’s Lower East Side. This film has an authentic take on what it’s like to grow up Latino with a big family, one that includes an abuelita who wants to put him in jail for no reason ?, and a new girlfriend. This is another one that’ll make you laugh and probably cry.

11. “Hangin’ With The Homeboys” (1991)

You’ll recognize the faces in this movie (baby John Leguizamo!!! I die.) It’s the quintessential coming of-age film about two black men and two Puerto Rican men over the course of one night in – you guessed it – the Bronx. It’s a ’90s classic! Friendship, girls, laughter – what more could you really want? It’s the perfect example of life in the city.


READ: Get On It: 13 Books By Latino Authors You Should Have Read By Now

What are your favorite coming-of-age films? Let us know in the comments below!

Netflix Is Bringing Latinidad To The Fantasy Realm And LOTR Fans Gear Up

Entertainment

Netflix Is Bringing Latinidad To The Fantasy Realm And LOTR Fans Gear Up

Streaming services like Netflix have become our go-to place for fresh media. So, whenever we hear of a new project coming from the streaming service, we’re all in. Last November, Netflix announced a huge 6 project animated deal that will bring even more cartoon goodness to our screens. One, in particular, has us especially excited because it comes from animator and director Jorge Gutierrez. You might remember him from Nickelodeon’s “El Tigre: The Adventures of Manny Rivera” and the gorgeously animated “The Book of Life.”

Now, we’re seeing the first looks of Gutierrez’s new Netflix project, “Maya and the Three.”

Twitter / @mexopolis

Described as a Mesoamerican fantasy epic, the director sat down with VARIETY to share the origins of the project and the journey to get it made. Gutierrez was approached by Netflix with an alluring challenge: share his dream project with executives; the one he didn’t believe anyone would ever allow him to make. It only took him one pitch to win the streaming giant over and “Maya” was greenlit for production.

“So I sat down on Jan. 25th of [2018] and that was the first time I ever pitched ‘Maya,’” he shared with VARIETY. “No art, no writing, just an idea. And here I am 11 months later, knee-deep in production.”

It was Gutierrez’s goal to portray a “bad-ass female Mesoamerican hero” in a fantasy world of his own creation.

Twitter / @zette16

“I started seeing a lot of things I didn’t like as far as not having any lead females, especially in Mesoamerican mythology,” he explained. “So I said I want to have a hero who is a half-god half-human warrior princess.”

In the Netflix series, a demigod warrior princess named Maya embarks on a quest to recruit three legendary fighters. With their help, she hopes to save the worlds of god and man from destruction. The intention was to show Maya as a strong female lead and, to do so, Gutierrez pulled from his real-life heroes. The director credits his sister, mother and his wife, Sandra Equihua for inspiring the mythical heroine. Equihua is also a talented animator and acts as a character designer for the female characters in her husband’s work.

With his female lead in place, Gutierrez focused on the mystical world that “Maya” would be set in.

Twitter / @mexopolis

The setting for the Netflix limited series has been growing in Gutierrez’s mind since he was a boy growing up in Mexico City. He would wander the halls of the Museum of Natural History and makeup stories about what he saw. These stories would later help to mold the setting. Even now, the director has fun teasing his Twitter followers with hints about what the new series could look like. However, it’s the architecture from his boyhood explorations, Gutierrez’s fondness for skulls and the pantheon of Mesoamerican gods that have helped to create Maya’s world.

Due to the mystical quest and the fantasy setting of “Maya and the Three,” Gutierrez has taken to calling the series the Mexican “Lord of the Rings.” Still, it’s a fantasy first and foremost. The director wants everyone to understand that “Maya” is inspired by Mesoamerican culture but is not meant to be an accurate representation.

“I tell everybody that while it’s inspired by Mesoamerica, this will be as accurate (to that world) as ‘Rocky’ was to boxing,” Gutierrez shared with VARIETY. “It’s all fantasy and I’m having a blast playing with the history.”

The series will feature a number of talented Latinx writers, producers and voice actors to bring Maya to life.

Instagram / @thraxisjr

Silvia Olivas from “Elena of Avalor” is acting as a co-writer and co-producer for “Maya and the Three.” From Disney’s “Moana,” Jeff Ranjo is the head of story. Paul Sullivan, who worked with Gutierrez on “The Book of Life,” is the production designer.

Despite these important hires, animators were in short supply so the producer had to get creative.

“Especially in L.A., we are all fighting for basically the same people, so now we’re looking outside. Before we announced Maya, I would go online and look for artists who were already inspired by Mesoamerica and say to them ‘You already love this stuff, we love it too! Come to our team.’”

Gutierrez used Instagram, Twitter, and Tumblr to find animators that could do justice to the project. This modern-day recruiting system allowed Gutierrez and his team to find fresh artists with untapped talent to animate “Maya.” The results promise to be unique and beautiful.

The series is still a long ways away; it won’t debut on Netflix until its 2021 worldwide release. While it’s a long wait, the director promises fans that it is well worth it.

“Please have patience,” he told fans through his VARIETY interview. “This is gonna take a while, but we hope it’s unlike anything anyone has ever seen. We are so giddy every day and still can’t believe this is happening.”

The Daily Show’ Tried To Use The Term ‘Latinx’ And People Weren’t Happy About It

Entertainment

The Daily Show’ Tried To Use The Term ‘Latinx’ And People Weren’t Happy About It

Latino, Latinx, or Hispanic? You’ve heard all of those terms before, and you have, of course, also heard the arguments that come over their use. Nowadays, many younger generations of Latinx folks decide to opt for “Latinx” because it’s more inclusive but there are still others who haven’t fully accepted or adopted this term in their daily lives. 

Many people who are of Mexican, Argentinian, Cuban, Guatemalan, Honduran, Nicaraguan (and many other countries!) descent, have a difficult time coming agreeing to one term that everyone can identify as. 

But that’s the point of having different opinions and experiences, so it’s important to learn more about one’s history and also be open to another’s point of view.

Reddit user u/Aldopeck posted a status on the thread r/stupidpol posted about the Daily Show trying to use “Latinx to seem woke to Spanish people. All the Latinos in the comment section react saying ‘Latinx’ is a bullshit term that’s never going to be a thing.” 

Many people have also tried to make sense of whether Latino, Latinx or Hispanic is any “better” or “more inclusive” of a term. For example, last year, Remezcla published an extensive article on a brief but thorough history of how these words originated.  “Through my conversations and research into the background of these terms, it became clear that the origins and evolution of what we call ourselves is as complicated as our history in the United States,” writes Yara Simón for Remezcla on the topic

“We’ll probably never find a perfect term, especially as some prefer to identify as their (or their family’s) country of origin.”

Arturo Castro went on the Daily Show last month to talk to Trevor Noah about his latest sketch show “Alternatino.” In the segment, Castro spoke to Noah about how difficult it was to juggle his characters from “Broad City” and “Narcos.” But he also talked about his heritage and how his experiences as a Latino influence his work. 

“You know, being Latino, everybody sort of expects you to be, like, suave, you know, and really like spicy food or be really good at dancing,” Castro said. “I really like matcha, you know?”

But regardless of his matcha-loving ways, Castro is very intentional about uplifting his community (he’s from Guatemala) and isn’t one to shy away from major issues affecting people of color through his Comedy Central sketch show, “Alternatino.” For example, earlier this week, Comedy Central aired an episode of “Alternatino” that includes a mass-shooting-themed sketch

In “The Daily Show” interview, Noah then asks Castro, “what do you think some of the biggest misconceptions are about being Latino that you’ve come across in America that you try and debunk in the show?” 

To which Castro replies, “Well, you know, there’s this thing about being ultra-violent or being lazy. Like, you know, the most common misconception is about Latino immigrants being lazy. Where I find Latino immigrants to be some of the hardest-working people in the world, right?” 

While Arturo Castro dropped some gems during the interview, notice that his quotes all referred to his community and himself as “Latino”? Well, when The Daily Show shared a promotional post on Facebook about the interview, they used the term “Latinx” and people were not happy about it.

“Arturo Castro pokes fun at Latinx stereotypes on his new sketch series, “Alternatino,” the social team for The Daily Show wrote on Facebook. 

It didn’t take long for the backlash to pop up in the comments section.

Users were quick to comment on the use of the term Latinx, and criticize the show for inserting the word into Castro’s quote.

While the argument about whether one should use Latino, Latinx, or Hispanic is still up in the air, people can’t help but have opinions about it. 

A reddit user argued that “you can’t really say [Latinx] in Spanish. I mean you can ‘Latin-equis’ but nobody does. The whole thing just reeks of white liberal wokeness being imposed on a community of smelly unfortunates. If they’re so concerned with gendered languages why don’t they do the same thing with French, Italian, Hebrew, Arabic, etc.?” 

But other Facebook commenters weren’t going to let people off the hook for criticizing The Daily Show’s use of “Latinx” in their promotion. 

As one Facebook user pointed out, “not everyone identifies as binary male/female…hence the use of Latinx…it is for people who can’t or won’t identify as either. If you don’t like Latinx then don’t use it…see how simple that was?”

So, what’s it going to be? Latinx, Latino, or Hispanic? This social outrage also begs the question, if someone didn’t refer to themselves as “Latinx,” then should you omit the use of that term completely? Should brands be thinking harder about this before they hit post? 

You tell us! Leave your thoughts in the comments below!

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