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“Though Latinos comprise almost 20 percent of our country’s population, they remain severely underrepresented in Hollywood,” said CHC Chairman Ruiz. Photo: Robyn Beck via Getty Images.
“Though Latinos comprise almost 20 percent of our country’s population, they remain severely underrepresented in Hollywood,” said CHC Chairman Ruiz. Photo: Robyn Beck via Getty Images.

Rep. Joaquin Castro, CHC submit 25 Latino-focused films for National Film Registry

The move follows grim representation at the 2021 Golden Globes.

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At this year’s Golden Globes, one couldn’t help but notice the underrepresentation of BIPOC stories on the big screen. It’s an ongoing issue the Congressional Hispanic Caucus has been battling for months.  

Led by Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX), who spearheaded efforts when he was chairman of the caucus through 2020, members of the CHC have nominated 25 films highlighting the stories of Latinos and the Latino experience in the United States. Legislators say the films were selected with assistance from Latino arts and media advocacy groups. 

Films like Under the Same Moon (2007), Frida (2002), and Raising Victor Vargas (2002), are among the list of 25 films, which are in addition to Selena, the 1997 film submitted to the registry by Rep. Castro in January. 

While some are historical, others are fantastical or contemporary depictions of the nuanced Latino identity in the United States. 

In a letter, Rep. Castro and CHC Chairman Rep. Raul Ruiz (D-CA) wrote to Dr. Carla Hayden of the Library of Congress, saying the submissions are part of an ongoing effort to fight underrepresentation and misrepresentation in Hollywood, which is ultimately the entity that is telling the stories of Latinos.

“In effect, when we cannot tell our stories, others will tell stories about us. We believe this is a significant factor motivating ongoing anti-Latino sentiment in American society, one which negatively impacts Latinos in all aspects of society, from immigration law to the education system to the current public health crisis,” the Reps wrote.

The additional 25 films provide ample Latino stories to be considered in this year’s selection for the National Film Registry. Since 1988, it has selected 25 films annually to be preserved at the Library of Congress. 

While their inclusion would be a step toward fixing the long-standing exclusion of Latino stories on-screen, the congressmembers make clear that this isn’t the endpoint.

“Hollywood must ensure that new generations of Latino filmmakers will have the opportunity to tell their stories on screen,” Castro wrote.

The 25 Latino focused films nominated for the National Film Registry are: 

  • My Family (1995) 
  • Ballad of Gregorio Cortez (1982) 
  • Under the Same Moon (2007) 
  • Lo que le pasó a Santiago (1989) 
  • Don’t Let Me Drown (2009) 
  • The Milagro Beanfield War (1988) 
  • Raising Victor Vargas (2002) 
  • Frida (2002) 
  • Walkout (2006)
  • A Better Life (2011) 
  • Gun Hill Road (2011) 
  • Spy Kids (2001) 
  • American Me (1992) 
  • Romero (1989) 
  • Hermanas (2005) 
  • Blood In, Blood Out (1993) 
  • Nothing Like the Holidays (2008) 
  • Latino (1985) 
  • The Lost City (2005) 
  • Down for Life (2009) 
  • Tortilla Soup (2001) 
  • The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) 
  • 12 Horas (2001) 
  • Viva Cuba (2005) 
  • Maria Full of Grace (2004) 
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