By Jack Rico
Every year, theaters release 718 movies a year. Hispanic films are a small fraction of that, but some of the best are releasing this autumn. So in order to celebrate Hispanic talent in film, especially in Hispanic Heritage Month, we’ve compiled 16 movies that are either spoken in Spanish, focused on a Hispanic storyline, include a Hispanic actor in a lead role or is directed by a Hispanic. Let’s see how many of these “16 Hispanic Films To See This Fall” attract your interest. *(Stay tuned for our Fall Movie Preview on our Highly Relevant Podcast this month)
Director: Jeri Rice
Synopsis: A documentary examines the history of the United States’ embargo against Cuba, making the case that the policy has been bad for both countries.
Manolo: The Boy Who Made Shoes for Lizards (Documentary)
Director: Michael Roberts
Synopsis: Spaniard shoe designer Manolo Blahnik, the designer of elegant shoes for women, gets a film profile, courtesy of the fashion editor Michael Roberts, who is making his first movie.
Director: Darren Aronofsky
Cast: Javier Bardem, Jennifer Lawrence, Ed Harris
Synopsis: Bardem co-stars in this fictional tale when a couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.
Time To Die (Re-release)
Director: Arturo Ripstein (written by Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
Cast: Marga López, Jorge Martínez de Hoyos, Enrique Rocha
Synopsis: Filmed in 1965, this Mexican classic is making its US debut. After serving his conviction, a former gunman returns to his town planning to live a quiet life, however, the sons of a man hi killed have other plans. From an original story by Colombian Nobel laureate Gabriel García Márquez, this was the directing debut for then-21-year-old Arturo Ripstein, future director of Deep Crimson and Hell Without Limits.
Director: José María Cabral
Cast: Orestes Amador, Ramón Emilio Candelario, Carlota Carretero
Synopsis: Julián finds love and a reason for living in the last place imaginable: the Dominican Republic’s Najayo Prison. His romance, with fellow prisoner Yanelly, must develop through sign language and without the knowledge of dozens of guards.
Realive (September 29)
Director: Mateo Gil
Cast: Tom Hughes, Charlotte Le Bon, Oona Chaplin
Synopsis: Spanish director Mateo Gil lenses this story about a man named Marc (Tom Hughes) who is diagnosed with a disease and is given one year left to live. Unable to accept his own end, he decides to freeze his body. Sixty years later, in the year 2084, he becomes the first man to be revived in history. It is then he discovers that the love of his life, Naomi (Oona Chaplin), has accompanied him this entire time in a way that he’d never expected.
Chavela (Documentary) (October 4)
Director: Catherine Gund, Daresha Kyi
Cast: Pedro Almodóvar, Elena Benarroch, Miguel Bosé
Synopsis: Through its lyrical structure, Chavela will take viewers on an evocative, thought-provoking journey through the iconoclastic life of game-changing artist Chavela Vargas, a Costa Rican-born Mexican singer. Centered around never before-seen interview footage of Chavela shot 20 years before her death in 2012, and guided by the stories in Chavela’s songs, and the myths and tales others have told about her – as well as those she spread about herself – the film weaves an arresting portrait of a woman who dared to dress, speak, sing, and dream her unique life into being.
Tempestad (Documentary) (October 20)
Director: Tatiana Huezo
Synopsis: The emotional journeys of two women victimized by corruption and injustice in Mexico and of the love, dignity and resistance that allowed them to survive.
Brimstone & Glory (Documentary) (October 27)
Director: Viktor Jakovleski
Synopsis: Dreams catch fire, literally, at the National Pyrotechnic Festival in Tultepec, Mexico. The celebration, its participants and the tradition of firework-making are the subjects of Viktor Jakovleski’s documentary.
Most Beautiful Island (November 3)
Director: Ana Asensio
Cast: Ana Asensio, Natasha Romanova, David Little
Synopsis: Most Beautiful Island is a chilling portrait of an undocumented young woman’s struggle for survival as she finds redemption from a tortured past in a dangerous game.
No Dress Code Required (Documentary) (November 3)
Director: Cristina Herrera Borquez
Synopsis: A couple in love from Baja California Mexico are in the middle of the preparations for a huge wedding, the only problem is that their marriage is not legal, since they are both male.
Santa & Andres (November 10)
Director: Carlos Lechuga
Cast: Lola Amores, Eduardo Martinez, Cesar Domínguez
Synopsis: The story of an improbable friendship between a revolutionary country girl and a noncompliant gay writer she has to watch over for three consecutive days.
The Long Night of Francisco Sanctis (November 17)
Director: Francisco Márquez, Andrea Testa
Cast: Diego Velázquez, Laura Paredes, Valeria Lois
Synopsis: Buenos Aires, 1977. During the military dictatorship, Francisco Sanctis receives information about two people sentenced to “disappear.” A quiet middle-aged family man without any political ties, Francisco is stunned by the urgency of his situation. That night he must make a crucial decision: whether or not to risk his own life to save others.
Coco (November 22)
Director: Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina
Cast: Alanna Ubach, Edward James Olmos, Gael García Bernal
Synopsis: Aspiring musician Miguel (voice of newcomer Anthony Gonzalez) teams up with charming trickster Hector (voice of Gael García Bernal) on an extraordinary journey through Mexico’s Land of the Dead.
The Current War (November 24)
Director: Alfonso Gomez-Rejon
Cast: Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom Holland, Katherine Waterston, Michael Shannon
Synopsis: A Mexican-American directs this dramatic story of the cutthroat race between electricity titans Thomas Edison and George Westinghouse to determine whose electrical system would power the modern world.
The Shape of Water (December 8)
Director: Guillermo del Toro
Cast: Doug Jones, Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon
Synopsis: The Mexican master of horror and fantasy, Guillermo del Toro, directs this unique movie of an other-worldly fairy tale, set against the backdrop of Cold War era America circa 1962. In the hidden high-security government laboratory where she works, lonely Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is trapped in a life of isolation. Elisa’s life is changed forever when she and co-worker Zelda (Octavia Spencer) discover a secret classified experiment.