Movies and television shows are great escapes, no matter what language they’re in or where they're made. After you’ve watched your favorite Spanish-speaking shows and movies on Netflix, and maybe even had time to see a Latinx movie or two, you’ll want to browse through these Latinx documentaries. Whether you grew up watching Latinx stars, like Puerto Rican TV personality Walter Mercado and Mexican norteño band Los Tigres del Norte, or you’ve been wanting to expand your entertainment culture knowledge, there’s a pick on this list for you. Get lost in these documentaries about food, art, music, sports and more from the moment you hit play.
Puerto Rican astrologer Walter Mercado rose to fame in the '90s reading daily horoscopes to Latinx viewers on TV. At his prime, 120 million Spanish-speaking viewers tuned into his segment Walter y Las Estrellas to hear his messages of light and love — that is, until the mid-2000s when he seemingly vanished. Discover what happened behind the scenes that took Walter away from the limelight.
On the 50th anniversary of Johnny Cash's historic concert at the Folsom State Prison in California, Mexican norteño band Los Tigres del Norte visit the institution. Well known for singing about everyday struggles, the band stops by to spend time with "those who have lost their way and those who have been forgotten." The seven-time Grammy-winning group perform for Latinx inmates who grew up listening to their music as they share their stories.
Running was in Lorena Ramírez's DNA, but she didn't believe it until she won her first ultramarathon with no special training or equipment. The 22-year-old from Chihuahua, Mexico is part of the indigenous Rarámuri community, who are known for running long-distance in huaraches ("sandals" in English). She quickly garners international attention but Lorena keeps her focus on crossing another finish line.
Hurricane Maria made landfall in Punta Santiago, Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017. Tens of thousands were displaced from their homes after the storm ravaged the island. Today, it's considered one of the deadliest hurricanes in U.S. history. When FEMA declares one family's house inhabitable, they are sent to live in a hotel in the Bronx, New York. Months later, FEMA ends their assistance and they must figure out their next steps fast.
Acclaimed Mexican chef Gabriela Cámara has two restaurants on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border: Contramar in Mexico City and Cala in San Francisco. The short documentary centers around the intimate culture chefs, bartenders, waiters and bussers have cultivated at the sister restaurants. In between personal stories, teams create stunning Mexican dishes.
Twice a year, the Border Network for Human Rights (BNHR) holds an emotional event at the U.S.-Mexico border called Hugs Not Walls. Families who are separated due to their immigration statuses get the chance to see their loved ones in-person and hug them for three minutes. An air horn signals when time is up and families are forced to say goodbye again. During its second year, in 2018, cameras caught the heartbreaking moments. This past June, more people were reunited for several minutes.
Travel all across Latin America in this docuseries that showcases six street vendors who give viewers a glimpse of their culture, art, music and, most importantly, their food. From Brazil to Peru to Colombia, viewers see how each country offers a beautiful dialect, delicious recipes and rich history. Starting off with Pato Rodriguez of Las Chicas de Las Tres from Bueno Aires, Argentina, she shares her pride behind her famous stuffed tortillas.
Take a closer look at four female candidates who ran for Congress in the 2018 U.S. House of Representatives elections: Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Amy Vilela of Nevada, Cori Bush of Missouri and Paula Jean Swearengin of West Virginia. At the start of their grassroots campaigns, all of them share that being a politician never crossed their minds but their personal causes drove them to speak up for themselves and on behalf of others.
Over the course of 45 years, American journalist and filmmaker Jon Alpert documents the lives of the Cuban population. Starting in the early '70s, Jon arrives as a 20-year-old on a mission to tell Cuba's story after hearing Fidel Castro's call for a socialist revolution. Fast forward, the politician dies in 2016, and Jon reflects back on the country's history. The documentary is told straight from the lens of Jon's camera, so you feel like you're right there with him.
Not all tacos are alike: Pastor, carnitas, asada, barbacoa, the list goes on. Over a dozen episodes, you'll learn the history behind the different kinds of tacos made throughout Mexico. If you're a foodie who likes to know the science behind dishes or you're just in the mood to hear others profess their love for tacos, this show is for you. A quick warning though, you'll be craving tacos from the second you hit play.
Considered one of the most influential artists in the '70s and '80s, Mexican native Carlos Almaraz led the Chicano art movement in Los Angeles. He first made his mark in 1973 when he helped civil rights activist César Chávez and the United Farmworkers Union with art, including murals and banners. A year later, Carlos became one of the founding members of the Chicano artist collective called Los Four ("The Four" in English). Dive deeper into his story told from various points of views.
Juan Manuel Fangio is a legend in Formula 1 history. Arguably the best racing driver, the late Argentine is best known for having dominated the first decade of the sport. Through archival footage and interviews, F1 fans are taken back to Juan's beginnings at the first World Drivers' Championship in 1950. After experiencing personal tragedy behind the wheel, he considered quitting racing. Today, he's known for winning five consecutive championships with four manufacturers.
Brazilian filmmaker Petra Costa tells the story of former presidents Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva and Dilma Rousseff. Lula faced corruption charges years after his term ended and his successor Dilma was impeached during her presidency. Watch events unfold through Petra's eyes as she reflects back and shows the reality with President Jair Bolsonaro now in office.
Filmmaker and director Estevan Oriol looks back through 25 years worth of footage and photos reminiscing about his start on the L.A. hip-hop scene. During the late '80s and early ’90s, Estevan was never seen without his friend and collaborator tattoo artist Mark Machado a.k.a. Mister Cartoon. When Estevan had the chance to direct music videos for famous rappers, like Eminem and Snoop Dogg, he would introduce them to Cartoon, who would then give them one-of-a-kind tattoos. Together, the two helped define Chicano art in L.A.
If you've been daydreaming about traveling, you'll be instantly transported to the historic world of Guatemala when you watch this breathtaking documentary. Discover the history behind geographical sites, including Sierra de las Minas, Esquipulas and ancient Mayan cities. What's more, you'll get a glimpse into Guatemala's intricate culture.