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PRLS 1001: Introduction to Puerto Rican and LatinX Studies (Ortíz-Minaya): Films/Documentaries

Films & Documentaries

This 2019 selection of "Films and Documentaries on Puerto Rican and Latino Studies" was built upon the work of former San Diego State University Librarian Cecilia Puerto's 2009 list "Selected Films of Interest for Chicana/o and Latino Studies"



1912: Breaking the Silence.

Attribution: Rolando, G., Imágenes del Caribe Video Group,, Instituto Cubano de Arte e Industria Cinematográfica,, &,. (2013). 1912: Breaking the silence.

Over ten years in the making, 1912: Breaking the Silence / (1912): Voces para un silencio) unearths the history of Cuba’s Partido Independiente de Color (PIC). Founded in 1908 by Afro-Cuban veterans of Cuba’s war for independence, the PIC was the second black-led party in the Americas. They struggled for racial, political, and economic equality in the early years of the republic. Using a creative mix of interviews and archival documents, Rolando pieces together the historical antecedents that led to the shocking 1912 massacre of thousands of Afro-Cubans affiliated with the PIC.


Adelante, Mujeres! National Women's History Project, 1992.

"Spanning five centuries, this comprehensive video, produced by the National Women's History Project, focuses exclusively on the history of Mexican-American/Chicana women from the Spanish invasion to the present. Hundreds of previously unpublished photographs, art works, and contemporary footage pay tribute to the strength and resilience of women at the center of their families, as activists in their communities, and as contributors to American history. A companion to the ground-breaking Chicana, ¡Adelante Mujeres! is suitable for young adult and college-age audiences, and community and women's groups."

The American Experience: Zoot Suit Riots.
Boston, Mass.: WGBH Educational Foundation: PBS Home Video, 2002.

Watch full movie online

Attribution: [djsoss1980]The Zoot Suit Riots Retrieved from

Anatomía de un vestido Director Flora Pérez Garay, 2014.

Attribution: [Amatista Films] (2014, Sept. 2) ANATOMIA DE UN VESTIDO Trailer Computer Retrieved from

This documentary presents the passion, the talents, the history, the struggles and the local and international triumphs of the most renowned fashion designers in Puerto Rico. The history of garment making in Puerto Rico has marked our history, culture and traditions forever. This documentary also presents that part of history that was exploitative as a labor manual industry, but that served as the base for what we have today as a fashions industry.


Barrio  Logan:  Youth  Voices,  Community   Stories.  Media  Arts  Center  San   Diego,  2006  

"... a storytelling project that helps sustain, support, celebrate and maintain community identity and pride in an area that is widely regarded as a center for Latino civic engagement. This project is a partnership between the City of San Diego Public Library and Media Arts Center San Diego.”

Bettina Gray Speaks with Luis Valdez. Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 1993.
Bettina Gray interviews Luis Valdez, the celebrated founder of the Teatro Campesino, the West Coast theatrical group that has given voice to the struggles of Chicano farm workers. As a child, Valdez picked fruit alongside his father in California's fertile valleys. In this program, he describes how he became a playwright and director and explains how his plays retrace the experience of Chicano families.

Beyond the Border - Más Allá de la Frontera Dos Vatos Production, 2001.

Over the past decade, thousands of Latinos seeking a better life have migrated to Kentucky, finding low-paying jobs in the tobacco, manufacturing, and horse racing industries. However, as these Latino communities have swelled, so too has the xenophobia and discrimination they face.Beyond the Border - Más Allá de la Frontera traces the painful transition made by four sons in a Mexican family as they leave behind their parents and sisters and struggle to overcome cultural, class and language barriers in Kentucky.

Information on film:

Bilingualism : A True Advantage. Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 1994

“The first segment focuses on the bilingual education program at San Antonio's De Zavala Elementary school. Segment two focuses on Hispanic American college students who were raised as English speakers but are rediscovering the cultural and economic benefits of bilingualism. Segment three is an interview with Hispanic American entertainer Cheech Marin.”

Birthwrite growing up Hispanic by Treviño, Treviño, Jesús Salvador, Torres, Luis R, Marin, Cheech

The Blending of Culture: Latino Influence on America. Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 2002.

Recent U.S. Census figures provide dramatic testimony to the growth of the Latino population. This program looks at the "Three Houses of Latino Culture"—Cuban, Puerto Rican, and Mexican-American—and their widespread influence from entertainment to politics to economics. Key issues include how long Hispanics have been in America and how U.S. immigration laws affect their assimilation. Interviews with Latino community leaders—university presidents, professors, artists, doctors, CEOs, bishops, and ministers—bring home the diversity and achievement of this rapidly expanding segment of the American populace.

La Boda = The Wedding. Women Make Movies, 2000.

Attribution: [POV] (2015, Oct. 29) La Boda = The Wedding.[Trailer] Retrieved from

Elizabeth Luis is marrying Artemio Guerrero, and we are all invited to the wedding. In Hannah Weyer's latest film, La Boda, Elizabeth's family and community offer an intimate portrait of migrant life and traditions as the weeks leading up to the ceremony bring friends and family together. Stable, optimistic, hard-working, and as American as they are Mexican, this community doesn't fit anybody's stereotype of migrant workers. Filmed in Nuevo Leon, Mexico, in Mission, Texas and Shafter, California.

The Borinqueneers. Cinema Guild, Regiment. (2007)

Atrribution: [borinqueneers] (2007, May 9) The Borinqueneers trailer [Video]. Retrieved from

The Borinqueneers is the first major documentary to chronicle the never-before-told story of the Puerto Rican 65th Infantry Regiment, the only all-Hispanic unit in the history of the U.S. Army. Narrated by Hector Elizondo. The 65th Infantry Regiment was created in 1899 by the U.S. Congress as a segregated unit composed primarily of Puerto Ricans with mostly continental officers. It went on to serve meritoriously in three wars: World War I, World War II and the Korean War. The unit was nicknamed after "Borinquen", the word given to Puerto Rico by its original inhabitants, the Taino Indians, meaning "land of the brave lord".

The Boxer. Bullfrog Films, 2000

Attribution: [tveInspiringChange] (Jun 28, 2012) The Boxer (trailer) [Video]. Retrieved from

“Part 6 of a series on how the globalized world economy affects ordinary people. This film follows Luis Rodriguez, who lives in a remote peasant village in southern Mexico, who hopes to become a boxing champion in the United States. This film follows him as he travels north to the US- Mexican border, joining other migrants determined to outwit the U.S. border guards. Eventually he succeeds in crossing the border and finds work as an illegal alien.”

Break of Dawn: A True Story. San Diego: Cinewest Productions; Platform  Releasing,  1988.

“Based on the life story of Pedro J. Gonzalez who championed the cause of Mexican-Americans in California during the Depression years and who worked for the reform of the California penal system.” Independent film written and directed by Isaac Artenstein telling the story of Los Angeles radio personality and musician Gonzalez who led a protest against right-wing deportation of Mexican Americans in the 1930s and ended up in San Quentin on trumped-up charges.

The Bronze Screen. Bronze Screen Productions in with the Latino Entertainment Media Institute. Chicago, IL: Questar, 2002.

“The Bronze screen honors the past, illuminates the present, and opens a window to the future of Latinos in motion pictures. From silent movies to urban gang films, stereotypes of the Greaser, the Lazy Mexican, the Latin lover and the Dark lady are examined. Rare and extensive footage traces the progression of this distorted screen image to the increased prominence of today's Latino actors, writers and directors.”


Challenging Hispanic Stereotypes: Arturo Madrid. Films for the Humanities, 2004.

Arturo Madrid’s ancestors made a home on American soil before the Mayflower arrived, but strangers still ask him, "And where are you from?" Weary of always being perceived as "the other," he has devoted himself to challenging the stereotypes that keep Hispanics outside the American mainstream. Madrid is a teacher and president of the Tomas Rivera Center, where he focuses on issues and policies affecting the Latino community. In this program with Bill Moyers, he discusses the controversy surrounding bilingual education and the state of education, in general, for Hispanic people.

Chávez Ravine: a Los Angeles Story by Normark, Don, Marin, Cheech, Mechner, Jordan, & Bullfrog Films

Chicana. Women Make Movies, 2005

“Chicana traces the history of Chicana and Mexican women from pre-Columbian times to the present. It covers women's role in Aztec society, their participation in the 1810 struggle for Mexican independence, their involvement in the US labor strikes in 1872, their contributions to the 1910 Mexican revolution and their leadership in contemporary civil rights causes. Using murals, engravings and historical footage, Chicana shows how women, despite their poverty, have become an active and vocal part of the political and work life in both Mexico and the United States.”


Chicano Art: Resistance and Affirmation, 1965-1985. Regents of the University of California; UCLA Wight Art Gallery, 1990.

Chicano Park New York: Cinema Guild.

Mulford, M. (1989). Chicano Park. New York: Cinema Guild.

Chulas fronteras & Del mero corazon : roots of Tex-Mex music. Brazos Films, 2003

This movie features the music and culture of Mexican-Americans living in southern Texas, showing food preparation, family life, dances, fieldwork, and other social activities. Del mero corazon (28 min., 1979) is a lyrical journey through the musings of the heart in the Mexican-American Nortena music tradition. Various performers are shown in dancehalls and cantinas, presenting songs of passion and death, hurt and humor, and the pleasures and torn dreams of love.

Counseling Latina/Latino clients. American Psychological Association, 2005.

Carlson, J., Arredondo, P., American Psychological Association., & Governors State University. (2005). Counseling Latina/Latino clients. Washington, D.C.: American Psychological Association.

"Dr. Patricia Arredondo demonstrates her contextual, psychohistorical approach to therapy with clients whose heritage is from one of the many Spanish speaking countries. Her approach takes into consideration not just the client as an individual, but the client in context. This means attending to the client's culture, family traditions, religious beliefs, current situation, and historical context. In this session, Dr. Arredondo helps a 39-year-old Latina woman work out how to fit the changes in her life into the context of her family's expectations of her as well as her own life goals"

Crosses = Cruces. Maravilla Productions, 2002.

Arvizu, L. I., Maruvilla productions., & Teèka Films. (2002). Crosses =: Cruces. San Diego: Teèka Films.

Crosses documents the efforts of artists and activists to bring the disastrous effects of Operation Gatekeeper to the conscience of the people of both the U.S. and Mexico, and to pressure the governments of both countries to make efforts to find a more humane way to deal with the question of migration. In the last few years, these activist and artists have reclaimed the wall that divides the border as a backdrop for projects, every death is represented by a cross bearing the names of the victims and in many cases "not identified."

Crossing Arizona

A Sundance Film Festival favorite, Crossing Arizona offers an up-close multi-dimensional look at the hotly debated issue of illegal immigration and border security at America's flashpoint – in Arizona’s Sonora Desert on the border with Mexico. This timely documentary reveals the complicated dilemmas presented by the crisis, and the surprising political stances people take when immigration policy fails everyone.

View full documentary online on vimeo for free


Day of the Dead. 1999

Pingarrón, G., Dantas, A., Feduchy, F., WLRN-TV (Television station : Miami, Fla.), Once TV (Mexico City, Mexico), & Films for the Humanities (Firm). (1999). Day of the Dead. Princeton, NJ: Day of the Dead

The Day of the Dead, an ancient cultural tradition, still flourishes in modern-day Mexico. This beautiful documentary presents the annual commemoration of the Day of the Dead as it is celebrated on the island of La Picanda. On this day when the dead are believed to revisit the temporal realm, the program allows viewers a glimpse into Mexican life as they follow the preparations – including bountiful food offerings and wax statues – and observance of this unique holiday.

A Day Without a Mexican

De colores: Lesbian & Gay Latinos: Stories of Strength, Family and Love = lesbianas y gays Latinos: historias de fuerza, familia y amor. 2001.

Baez, J., Barbosa, P., Grusin, D., Lenoir, G., EyeBite Productions., Woman Vision Productions., & Iron Rod Motion Pictures, Inc. (2001). De colores: Lesbian & gay Latinos: stories of strength, family and love = lesbianas y gays Latinos: historias de fuerza, familia y amor. San Francisco, Calif: Woman Vision.

This documentary examines the struggles of Hispanic gays and lesbians coming out to their parents, especially in a culture that places value on "family tradition" above all else. Through interviews and commentaries, the stories of this largely ignored community are contrasted against similar experiences by Anglo-Americans.

Death on a Friendly Border. Filmakers Library, 2001.

Antell, R. (2002). Death on a friendly border. New York, NY: Filmakers Library.

The border that runs between Tijuana and San Diego is the most heavily militarized border between "friendly" countries anywhere in the world. Since 1994 when the U.S. instituted Operation Gatekeeper, an average of one person a day has died crossing into the U.S. The policy has been condemned by the UN Commissioner of Human Rights, Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International. This poignant film puts a human face on a tragedy that occurs daily. First we visit a small village in Oaxaca where more than half the men have emigrated to the United States to send money home. From here we follow the story of one young woman who made the journey to follow her husband, but died of dehydration in the desert. Then the film goes to Tijuana where thousands of people have desperately attempted the crossing, only to be thrown back. We learn of the hardships imposed by heat and thirst and abusive border guards. Finally, we hear first hand from a border guard, a human rights activist, and a citizen who actually goes into the desert each weekend to provide water for the fugitives. This is a memorable portrait of people who risk everything to come to "the land of plenty"--And often lose this gamble.

Dying to live: A migrant's journey (2005)

Groody, D. G., Groody, B., University of Notre Dame., & Groody River Films. (2005). Dying to live: A migrant's journey. Notre Dame, Ind.?: Groody River Films, in collaboration with the University of Notre Dame Center for Latino Spirituality and Culture.

A profound look at the human face of the migrant, this film explores who these people are, why they leave their homes and what they face in their journey. It also explores the places of conflict, pain and hope along the U.S.-Mexico border

El Dia la noche y los muertos. Calavera Productions, 1998.

Mykolyn, S., Soltek, J., Salvo, D., Acosta, A., Calavera Productions., & Filmakers Library, inc. (1998). El Dia la noche y los muertos. Place of publication not identified: Calavera Productions.

Filmed in the village of Patzcuaro, this is a dramatization of a pilgrimage on October 31, All Souls' Day in Mexico, when people celebrate their ancestors and communicate with long dead loved ones. The religious holy day is marked by celebrations and special events, making the relationship with death one of friendship rather than fear.


Hannah Weyer's Escuela, a moving follow-up to POV's La Boda (The Wedding), continues the saga of the Luis family as Liliana and Elizabeth, two of the Luis family daughters, try to make their way in 21st century America. For Liliana who begins her freshman year in high school, this means dealing with the harsh demands of work in the fields, constant travel and endlessly changing schools, classes and friends as she migrates with her farm-worker family between California, Texas and Mexico. For Elizabeth, a limited education and the struggle to secure citizenship for her husband combine to create an uncertain economic outlook. In this compassionate portrait, Escuela continues the story of one Mexican-American family's drive towards a better future.


Fear and Learning

In 1994, California voters approved Proposition 187, a ballot initiative denying public education and health care to all undocumented immigrants. Laura Angelica Simón, a Mexican immigrant and fourth grade teacher at Hoover Street Elementary School in Los Angeles was, in her own words, "devastated," and felt motivated to a make film about the impact on her school. The battle over Prop. 187 rages on in the courts, but Fear and Learning addresses the bill's real-life ramifications and the message it sends to children like Salvadoran fifth grader Mayra. This charming and outspoken nine-year-old leads the camera on a tour of the single room she shares with three family members. Frightened by the passage of Prop. 187, Mayra asked Simón, who was her teacher at the time, if she would be kicked out of school. Simón assured her she was safe, but the following year Mayra and her family disappeared, possibly returning to El Salvador.

The Fight in the Fields: Cesar Chavez and the Farmworkers' Struggle.

Jaula de oro = The golden cage : a story of California's farmworkers. Filmakers Library, 1992.

Ferriss, S. (Producer). (1991). The Golden Cage: A Story of California's Farmworkers [Video file]. Filmakers Library. Retrieved from Alexander Street database. 

The plight of migrant farmworkers has not changed much since the Depression. Only their nationality is different. The Golden Cage chronicles the experiences of Mexican farmworkers in California, and their isolation in a land of plenty. They toil under the blazing sun for little more than the minimum wage (and sometimes less) and are exposed daily to hazardous pesticides. Their housing is crowded and ramshackle. Using historical footage, interviews, newspaper clippings and black-and-white stills, the documentary traces the history of the United Farmworkers Union from the sixties to its current decline. It show the tactics used by many agricultural companies to evade using union labor. It gives voice to the farmworkers, growers, migrant doctors and others who talk candidly about the substandard working and living conditions that accompany the harvest. The documentary introduces us to two Mexican families - one legally in the U.S. and one illegally - who tell of their hope for a better life.

The Guestworker Filmakers Library, 2006

Hill, C., Thompson, C. D., Gaston, C., Tyson, D., Davey, M., Johnson, C., Markay Media., ... Las Américas Film Network. (2006). The guestworker. Durham, N.C.: Markay Media.

Documents the story of Mexican farm workers who enter the United States legally as part of the H-2A guest worker program, and looks at the issues surrounding the program. Focuses on a 66-year-old man who has worked on North Carolina farms for forty years, both legally and illegally, and on his employer, who is dependent upon foreign laborers to sustain his farm.

Harvest of empire the untold story of Latinos in America

Attribution: [Incarcerated Nation Network INC Media] (2020, June 29) Harvest of Empire The Untold Story of Latinos in America [Video File]. Retrieved from

Hispanics: The second generation

Hispanics and the Medal of Honor.

Drooker, A., Elizondo, H., Digital Ranch (Firm), History Channel (Television network), Arts and Entertainment Network., & New Video Group. (2008). Hispanics and the Medal of Honor. New York, NY: A & E Television Networks.

Explores an important aspect of America's military past. They have served in conflicts dating back to the 19th century, and they are an increasingly important and growing part of the U.S. military. But the role of Hispanics in the armed services is largely overlooked, despite the fact that many Hispanic soldiers have won the highest military award the nation bestows, the Medal of Honor.

Hispanics in the Media. Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 1998.

Images of Mexican Los Angeles: Views of the social and cultural history of the Mexican community of Los Angeles, 1781-1990s

Ríos-Bustamante, A. J., Ayala, H., Estrada, W. D., & Cinema Guild. (2006). Images of Mexican Los Angeles: Views of the social and cultural history of the Mexican community of Los Angeles, 1781-1990s. New York, NY: Cinema Guild.

Surveys the history of the Mexican community - its origins, culture, achievements, and difficulties - in the Los Angeles basin, from the establishment of the city in 1781 by Mexican settlers to the present-day Chicano struggle for civil rights.

In search of Aztlán.

Ontiveros, L., Mendoza, M., Treviño, J. S., Espinosa, A., Tonantzin, E. ., Ramos, A. R., Gonzalez, J. J., ... Cinema Guild. (2006). In search of Aztlán. New York: Cinema Guild.

This film follows the Chicano comedy trio Culture Clash on a whimsical journey in search of the mythical Aztlán -- the ancient homeland of the Aztec people believed by many to be located somewhere in the southwestern United States -- using a map they've discovered and riding in a 1952 low-rider Chevy. In Search of Aztlán balances dramatized comedy scenes with documentary interviews to explain the myth and history of Aztlan. Political activists from the Mexican American community launched a civil rights movement of social justice and self-affirmation in the 1960s in response to years of discrimination and social injustice and adopted a mythic "Aztlán" as a symbol for their modern Chicano nation to generate unity amongst their community and to foster pride in an ancient heritage that predated the establishment of the United States. The positive legacy of this civil rights movement is still felt today. While the actual site of Aztlán is unknown, the map the threesome use in its adventure corresponds to several historical maps dating from the 1500s that have been uncovered which identify several possible sites for the Aztecs' homeland in California, New Mexico, Arizona and Utah, all of which are visited by the group. Although the film begins as comedic farce, it concludes with thoughtful revelations about the status of Mexican Americans and other Latinos in American society today and how the importance of Aztlán goes beyond an actual physical location.

Issues of Latino identity: Yearning to be

Films for the Humanities & Sciences (Firm), Infobase., & University of Notre Dame. (2005). Issues of Latino identity: Yearning to be. New York, N.Y: Infobase.

Though Hispanic people journey to the United States from different homelands, do they all share the same heritage and concerns? This program takes a detailed look at the fastest-growing minority in the U.S. and what it means to be Latino and American. The documentary contrasts the experience of being a Latino in a flourishing ethnic neighborhood of a big city with living in a small town, where many Latinos feel isolated. Interviews with individuals stepping up to the roles of leadership in the Hispanic community cover a large spectrum of subjects, including social services, churches, business, and the arts.

In the Land of Plenty. Filmakers Library, 1999.

Aikin, S., Aparicio, C., Starfish Productions., Fonovisa, Inc., & Filmakers Library, inc. (2005). In the land of plenty.

Documentary follows Mexican migrant agricultural laborers in the strawberry fields of Watsonville, California. With lively music and an appreciation of border culture, this video provides a human portrait of workers at the mercy of a greedy system.

La granja = The Farm

The Last Colony: Puerto Rico's Unique Relationship With The United States
On November 6, 2012 the people of Puerto Rico held the fourth plebiscite in the Island's history to try to redefine the political relationship with the United States. Weeks before the plebiscite vote, filmmaker Juan Agustin Marquez traveled back to his homeland and interviewed leading politicians, historians, sociologists, and economists to dissect the status debate in a multilayered conversation about the pros and cons of each option on the ballot. Márquez, J. (Director). (2015). The Last Colony: Puerto Rico's Unique Relationship With The United States [Video file]. Last Colony Corporation.

Cows Wearing Glasses  2014

Follows Marcelino (Daniel Lugo), a painter and art professor who has recently been informed that he’s suffering from a disease that will leave him blind. Forced to look at his life anew, he embarks on a journey towards redemption as he rethinks his relationship with his daughter and plunges into a world that is slowly receding from view.

Latino Arts | A Community Vision

In the documentary, Latino Arts | A Community Vision, fifteen of Minnesota’s Latino artists convey their community’s vision of a Minnesota future enriched by the Latino culture. Their art portrays a bridge between the Latino cultural heritage and Minnesota’s cultural and economic future; through dance, hip hop, poetry, and stunning canvasses, it illustrates the voices of the Latino community as expressed in a CLAC state survey.

The Latino Family. Films for the Humanities & Sciences, 2003.

Cuellar, L., Reding, K., Alamo Public Telecommunications Council., & Films for the Humanities (Firm). (2003). The Latino family. Princeton, N.J: Films for the Humanities & Sciences.

Shows both the changes in and the endurance of traditional Latino families. Follows the paths of three generations of one Mexican-American family. Shows how the traditional roles of the elderly are being altered by their families' needs.

Legacy of Shame

Thirty-five years after the celebrated “Harvest of Shame” with Edward R. Murrow, Dan Rather and Randall Pinkston, together with producers Maurice Murad and Kristina Borjesson, revisited the plight of farm workers in the United States...While virtually no labor laws protecting the health, safety, and rights of U.S. farm workers existed in 1960 for the Murrow piece, Rather reported how laws had been enacted since then, but how lack of regulation allowed injustices to persist, especially since the voice of marginalized migrant farmers went largely unheard. As Rather reported in the July 20, 1995, show, "these are still forgotten people. Conditions for them are still awful."  

The legacy of the Mexican Revolution

Cuellar, L., KLRN (Television station : San Antonio, Tex.), & Films for the Humanities (Firm). (2003). The legacy of the Mexican Revolution. Princeton, N.J: Films for the Humanities & Sciences.

This program provides an overview of the Mexican Revolution and traces its human legacy through the Mexican population in San Antonio, Texas. Several prominent Mexican-Americans discuss how the war drove thousands of poor Mexicans across the border into the U.S., and how their descendants are still struggling today for integration into American society. Segregation and exploitation of Mexican farm workers-- examples of ongoing racial prejudice-- are discussed, along with cultural contributions by Mexican-Americans in the areas of art, business, and education. The program provides excellent insight into the roots of anti-Mexican sentiment, as well as the often quarrelsome relationship between the U.S. and Mexico from a historical perspective.

The Lemon Grove incident

Maquila: A tale of two Mexicos.

Landau, S., McAlmon, G., Angulo, S., Switzer, R., California State Polytechnic University, Pomona., Media Vision (Firm), & Cinema Guild. (2006). Maquila: A tale of two Mexicos. Pomona, Calif: College of Letters, Arts, and Social Sciences and Media Vision at California State Polytechnic University [production.

Presents, in a documentary film style, the pros and cons of the maquilador (or maquila; an export manufactoring program established by the Mexican Government in the 1960's where U.S.-owned export factories employ inexpensive Mexican labor).

Mexico: Back door to the promised land

Films for the Humanities & Sciences (Firm), Films Media Group., & Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen. (2006). Mexico: Back door to the promised land.

Since NAFTA, goods flow more freely from Mexico-but not people, although a million try to slip across the U.S. border each year. In this program, children of desperately poor families share the stories of their hardships and the choices they have made. For some, childhood means heavy labor as migrant workers in northern Mexico, while for others it means gang life on the streets of Tijuana. Yet for all-economic refugees for whom dollars are more valuable than education-the dream of life in America is like a vision of the promised land.

Mojados: Through the night

Davis, T., Davis Gang Films., Vanguard Cinema (Firm), & OverDrive, Inc. (2007). Mojados: Through the night. Buena Park, Calif.: Vanguard Cinema.

A stunning documentary, filmed over the course of ten days, following four men into the world of illegal border-crossing from Mexico to United States. Alongside Bear, Tiger, Handsome, and Old Man, director Tommy Davis takes a 120 mile cross-desert journey that has been traveled innumerable times by nameless immigrants who like the four young migrants from Michoacán, Mexico all had a simple dream for a better life. Fighting dehydration and exhaustion while evading the U.S. Border Patrol through sub-zero temperature darkness of night, filled with barbed wire, brutal storms and the ever-present confrontation with death, they endure unimaginable hardship that is reality for tens of thousands of illegal immigrants who make a similar journey into the United States every year.

Mountain's mist & Mexico

Banda, D., Bandana Productions., & Wisconsin Public Television. (2005). Mountain's mist & Mexico. Shorewood, WI: Bandana Productions.

A portrait of Mexican immigration to the Midwest that examines issues of assimilation, class structure, language, and ethics on both sides of the border.

New audiences for Mexican music

Films Media Group., KLRN (Television station : San Antonio, Tex.), Films for the Humanities (Firm), & Campanas de América (Musical group). (2006). New audiences for Mexican music. Princeton, N.J: Films Media Group.

The first part of this program describes the phenomenally popular dance music, Banda, that originated in Mexico over a century ago. The music features the sounds of wind instruments and drums from the last century and mixes in modern electronic rhythms. The second part of the program explains the history of mariachi music, and shows the young performers from the Texas-based Campanas de America mixing mariachi with country music. Part three of the program profiles Tejano music, popularized by the late singer Selena.

New world border

Palafox, J., Peek, C., Soundararajan, T., Dunn, T. J., Tactaquin, C., Bas, N. F., Burgreen, B., ... Progressive Films (Berkeley, Calif.). (2001). New world border. Berkeley, Calif.: Peek Media.

Documents the rise in human rights abuses along the U.S./Mexico border since the implementation of border blockades (Operation Gatekeeper), which have been erected in populated areas throughout the border region during the last decade. Includes interviews with immigrant rights organizers, testimony from immigrants, analysis of "free trade" policies and current efforts to build a vibrant movement for immigrant rights.

Nuestra comunidad: Latinos in North Carolina

Hershfield, J., Simpson, P., & New South Productions. (2001). Nuestra comunidad: Latinos in North Carolina. North Carolina: New South Productions.

Examines the Latino population explosion in North Carolina. Several Hispanic Americans introduce themselves, tell where they are from and why they came to North Carolina. Many describe monetary hardships in their native countries as well as financial difficulties they experienced when they came to the United States, and others recount their success stories as residents of North Carolina.

The other side =: El otro lado

Walker, C., In Khachooni, L., In Richards, J., Gawin, L., Briers, L., Television Trust for the Environment., Bullfrog Films., ... BBC Worldwide Ltd. (2017). The other side =: El otro lado.

Over the last century, hundreds of thousands of Mexicans have crossed the border to the United States in pursuit of permanent jobs, and a better life. But in the new millennium, that journey has become increasingly dangerous, and the costs are starting to outweigh the benefits. This program from the City Life series reveals the devastating impact of Mexican-US migration. The people who attempt to cross suffer horribly and frequently die. The families and communities left behind are disabled and their languages and cultures are being destroyed. The Other Side tells the story of the villagers who have had enough -- and now are trying to make sure their children will no longer have to migrate to realize their dreams.

Páginas de la historia de Tijuana

Rivera, D. J. G., Valdivia, A., Ramos, H. J., XEWT (Television station : Tijuana, Mexico), & Tijuana (Baja California, Mexico). (2005). Páginas de la historia de Tijuana. Tijuana, B.C: Instituto Municipal de Arte y Cultura.

Compilation of brief capsule histories looking at episodes in the history of Tijuana, B.C., Mexico. Also looks at Tijuana's status as a border and tourist town, and at its arts, institutions, and geography. Includes historical photographs, postcards, and film footage, along with images of Tijuana today.

Patrolling the border: National security and immigration reform

Koppel, T., ABC News Productions., & Films for the Humanities (Firm). (2005). Patrolling the border: National security and immigration reform. Princeton, N.J: Films for the Humanities & Sciences.

This ABC News program studies the connections between 9/11, the American economy, and the workforce of undocumented labor on which that economy increasingly depends. Interviews with Arizona border patrol agents evoke their frustrations and reveal the perils faced by many Mexicans who attempt desperate wilderness crossings. Contrasts between President Bush's proposed guest worker program and the Department of Homeland Security's efforts to crack down on the influx of illegal aliens highlight the complexity of the situation.

Rancho California (por favor)

Caldwell, J. T., Gomez, D., Gonzalez, A., Mendez, S., Gomez, V., & Agora Telefilm (Firm). (2016). Rancho California (por favor).

This ... visual essay provides a troubling journey through migrant farmworker camps in suburban southern California -- Rancho de los Diablos, Kelly Camp, Porterville, McGonigle Canyon -- where homeless indigenous Mixteco workers coexist near gated designer-home enclaves in Carlsbad, La Costa, Encinitas and Del Mar ... [T]he film explores the charged debate over the meaning and consequences of immigrant culture near America's southern border, and along the way examines the complex realities of race and class in this country.

Recalling Orange County

Moreno, M., Latino Public Broadcasting (Firm), & Cinema Guild. (2006). Recalling Orange County. New York, N.Y: Cinema Guild.

Once regarded as a wealthy, white, conservative enclave, Orange County has become less predictable, less tidy, more diverse, more interesting. In a word, Mexican. Filmmaker Mylène Moreno, whose family moved there in the seventies, returned to reflect on her youth as a daughter of immigrants and to see how much things have changed. She discovered Orange County was in the midst of a furious battle, a divisive campaign to recall school district trustee Nativo Lopez from the Santa Ana Unified Board of Education. A longtime advocate for undocumented immigrants, Lopez angered many residents with his staunch support of bilingual education and his decision to build a school for children of recent Mexican immigrants in an upscale neighborhood. The effort to remove Lopez from office, however, replete with charges of corruption (eventually dropped) and anti-Americanism, was started by a group of second and third generation Mexican-American mothers, and though bankrolled by a multi-millionaire and onetime Republican candidate for Governor, drew much of its support from the county's more assimilated Latino population. ... The film attempts to understand the sources and repercussions of an at-times vitriolic battle, playing out in cities and towns across the United States, over what it means to be an American.

Rights on the line: Vigilantes on the border. U.S.

Nelson, T., Ybarra, M. R., Mirano, G., American Friends Service Committee., American Civil Liberties Union., & Witness (Project). (2005). Rights on the line: Vigilantes on the border. U.S.: American Friends Service Committee.

This documentary shows the men behind the Minuteman Project and the continuum between official Mexican-American border militarization and vigilante action. It tells the story of border tensions from the point of view of those affected and reveals the underlying motivations of the vigilantes through interviews and footage of their nighttime patrols.

The short life of José Antonio Gutierrez

Specogna, H., Mattes, E., Canute, M., Tag/Traum Filmproduktion., PS Film GmbH., Specogna Filmproduktion., Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen., ... Atopia (Firm). (2007). The short life of José Antonio Gutierrez. Specogna, H., Mattes, E., Canute, M., Tag/Traum Filmproduktion., PS Film GmbH., Specogna Filmproduktion., Zweites Deutsches Fernsehen., ... Atopia (Firm). (2007). The short life of José Antonio Gutierrez. Montréal, Quebec: Atopia.Montréal, Quebec: Atopia.

A look at the life of Marine Lance Cpl. José Antonio Gutierrez, a "green-card soldier" (i.e.: non-U.S. citizen member of the U.S. Armed Forces) who was the first American soldier killed in the Iraq War.

Songs of the Homeland. Galan Productions, 1996
Filmed on location throughout Texas, Songs of the Homeland tells the story of Tejano Music. This critically acclaimed documentary features images of the past and present and includes performances and interviews with musical pioneers such as Tony de la Rosa, Valerio Longoria, Lydia Mendoza, Isidro Lopez, Sunny Ozuna, Mingo Saldivar, and Little Joe Hernandez. Produced and Directed by Award Winning Filmmaker Hector Galan, Songs of the Homeland is an exuberant journey into the heart and soul of Tejano music. Songs of the Homeland tells the story of Tejano Music. This critically acclaimed documentary features images of the past and present and includes performances and interviews with musical pioneers such as Tony de la Rosa, Valerio Longoria, Lydia Mendoza, Isidro Lopez, Sunny Ozuna, Mingo Saldivar, and Little Joe Hernandez. Produced and Directed by Award Winning Filmmaker Hector Galan, Songs of the Homeland is an exuberant journey into the heart and soul of Tejano music.


Through walls

Wight Art Gallery, UCLA. (1990). Through walls. Los Angeles: Regents of the University of California.

A contextual aural video produced in conjuction with the exhibition ; Chicano Art: Resistance & Affirmation, 1965-1985.

Ties That Bind: Immigration Stories

Films on Demand., & Films Media Group. (2010). Ties That Bind: Immigration Stories. Lawrenceville, NJ: Films Media Group.

This program looks at the human drama behind the current debate over U.S. immigration policy. It roams both sides of the Texas-Mexico border, exploring the root causes of why Mexicans immigrate. The role played by transnational corporations and their social and economic impact on both Mexicans and other North Americans is considered. A second segment explores the determination of immigrants and questions why current immigration policies are the most restrictive in years. A third part discusses the strong family values immigrants bring with them as having a positive impact on U.S. culture. Immigrant organizations are examined within the context of the American citizen action tradition.

Tijuana Jews

Artenstein, I., Artenstein, J., Landon, C., Gareri, J., Valle, J., In Nevius, S., Cinewest Productions., ... National Center for Jewish Film. (2005). Tijuana Jews.

Outlines the history behind the immigration of Jews to Tijuana, Mexico and focuses on the Artenstein family.


Visiones: Latino Art & Culture - Episode 1
Galan, H. (Director). (2005). Visiones: Latino Art & Culture - Episode 1 [Video file]. Galán Incorporated. Retrieved September 12, 2018, from Kanopy.
The Latino Mural Movement of the 1960's, Nuyorican spoken word, and editorial cartoonist Lalo Alcaraz are featured in the first episode of the series. Created in New York, Nuyorican spoken word is a form of artistic expression that emerged from the tumultuous 1960s and continues to influence and inspire the American Puerto Rican community. The episode includes interviews with Nuyorican poets Pedro Pietri, Piri Thomas and Caridad (La Bruja).
Visiones: Latino Art & Culture - Episode 3 Galan, H. (Director). (2005). Visiones: Latino Art & Culture - Episode 3 [Video file]. Galán Incorporated.
Episode three features Luis Valdez and the legendary Teatro Campesino, a segment of San Antonio's Day of the Dead Celebration, the image of the Virgen de Guadalupe as a Latina icon, experimental border filmmaker Willie Varela, and a profile of Chicago's soapbox artist Carlos Cortez.
Visiones: Latino Art & Culture - Episode 5
Galan, H. (Director). (2005). Visiones: Latino Art & Culture - Episode 5 [Video file]. Galán Incorporated.
Episode five highlights the Taco Shop Poets of Southern California, early tent theater of the Southwest called Carpas, and performance art in San Francisco. Performance artists covered include Guillermo Gomez-Pena, performance troupe ASCO, and the performance art pioneers Royal Chicano Airforce. The Taco Shop Poets, a group of Chicano poets living in San Diego, blend the spoken word with lively beats. The poets strive to take their social and political poetry to where people congregate at the Taco Shops.

Visiones: Latino Art & Culture - Episode 2

Galan, H. (Director). (2005). Visiones: Latino Art & Culture - Episode 2 [Video file]. Galán Incorporated. Retrieved September 12, 2018, from Kanopy.
Episode two features Miriam Colon and the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater Company (PRTT) of New York, Tejana musical artist Selena, and the Santero art tradition of New Mexico. This episode unveils the stories of New Mexico artisans known as Santeros who engage in an art form heavily steeped in history and tradition. Santeros present an interesting juxtaposition of imposed religion and Native American culture. Santero artists Charlie Carrillo and Nick Herrera and historians Sabine Ulibarri and Sylvia Rodr'guez discuss their views.


Visiones: Latino Art & Culture - Episode 4

Episode four begins with New York's Latino Hip-Hop and dance cultures. The Hip-Hop story looks at the new wave of Latinos who took Hip-Hop and created a culture that revolutionized the genre. It features New York Hip-Hop dancing couple Rokafella and Kwikstep. Then it travels to Miami's unique Afro-Cuban sound. The second segment takes us to Miami to experience a music that is a blending of traditional Cuban music, explosive jazz and American Pop called the Miami Sound. Musical artist Willy Chirino is featured in this segment. The episode ends in Los Angeles with modern dance pioneer Rudy Perez. Though legally blind, Perez continues to create and inspire as a teacher and choreographer for his Los Angeles based Modern Dance Company.

Visiones: Latino Art & Culture - Episode 6

Episode four begins with New York's Latino Hip-Hop and dance cultures. The Hip-Hop story looks at the new wave of Latinos who took Hip-Hop and created a culture that revolutionized the genre. It features New York Hip-Hop dancing couple Rokafella and Kwikstep. Then it travels to Miami's unique Afro-Cuban sound. The second segment takes us to Miami to experience a music that is a blending of traditional Cuban music, explosive jazz and American Pop called the Miami Sound. Musical artist Willy Chirino is featured in this segment. The episode ends in Los Angeles with modern dance pioneer Rudy Perez. Though legally blind, Perez continues to create and inspire as a teacher and choreographer for his Los Angeles based Modern Dance Company.

Viva La Causa! : 500 Years of Chicano History

Martínez, E. S., Norberg, D., Monterrosa, L., Martínez, E. S., SouthWest Organizing Project,, & Collision Course Video Productions,. (2016). ¡Viva la Causa!: 500 years of Chicano history.

An introduction to the history of the Mexican American people from their origins in Europe's invasion of the American continent up through World War II, through the Chicano Movement years to the present day. Includes archival footage and lively music ranging from corridos to rap.

Voices from the fields =: Voces del Campo. (2010).

Documentary follows farmworkers from California's Salinas Valley back to their roots in the fields of rural Mexico, where they recount their everyday struggle to cope in the midst of the globalization of agriculture and the impact of NAFTA. The video examines rural development projects that work with farmers to develop an agriculture base on people not profits.


Walking the line

Levine, J., Van, S. L., Filmakers Library, inc., & Two-Headed Productions. (2006). Walking the line. New York, NY: Filmakers Library.

Explores the chaos of the border crisis along the Southern Arizona region as experienced by Mexican migrants, private citizens, vigilantes, and humanitarians.


Women of hope: Latinas abriendo camino : 12 ground breaking Latina women

Peralta, M., Foner, M., Ocampo, A. C., Hernández, A., Sol, G. A., Colon, M., Huerta, D., ... Films for the Humanities & Sciences (Firm),. (2004). Women of hope: Latinas abriendo camino : 12 ground breaking Latina women. Princeton, NJ: Films for the Humanities & Sciences.

This program tells the story of Latina women in the U.S. through portraits of twelve unusual women who have broken new ground in their lives and achievements. Among those featured in the program are Miriam Colón, actress and founder of the Puerto Rican Traveling Theater; Nydia Velázquez, the first Puerto Rican Congresswoman; and Sandra Cisneros, Chicana novelist and poet. Describing their hopes, their dreams, and the paths they took which shaped their lives, the twelve women share their stories in the context of their families, their common histories, and their careers. The program includes a wealth of historical archival footage, and features a soundtrack of diverse and important Latin music from the 1940s through today. Produced by the Bread and Roses Cultural Project, Inc.


Yo soy Chicano

Treviño, J. S., Nye, B., Millán, V., KCET (Television station : Los Angeles, Calif.), Public Broadcasting Service (U.S.), & Cinema Guild. (2005). Yo soy Chicano. New York, NY: Cinema Guild.

Portrays the Chicano experience from its roots in pre-Colombian history to Mexican-American struggles in the early '70s.