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Hispanic History & Heritage Month Streaming and DVD Resources


Hispanic history and heritage is celebrated every year from September 15 to October 15. The month is meant to shine a light on the histories, cultures, and contributions of Hispanic Americans.

According to the government website for Hispanic Heritage Month, the observation began as a week-long celebration in 1968 under the Johnson administration. By 1988, under the Reagan administration, the celebration was expanded to cover a 30-day period.

The month is an opportunity for the general public to educate themselves on Hispanic history and raise awareness about the (past and present) challenges facing Hispanic communities. Throughout the United States, organizations, companies, schools, and communities hold events, programs, and exhibits throughout the heritage month celebrating Hispanic-Americans and their role in history.

Images of Hispanic & Hispanic American Representation in Film

Selena. Snapshot from film. Digital image. IMDb. 1997.

Roma. Snapshot from film. Digital image. IMDb. 2018.

Coco. Snapshot from film. Digital image. IMDb. 2017.

Dolores. Snapshot from film. Digital image. IMDb. 2017.

In the Heights. Snapshot from film. Digital image. IMDb. 2021.

Instructions Not Included. Snapshot from film. Digital image. IMDb. 2013.

Frida. Snapshot from film. Digital image. IMDb. 2002.

Real Women Have Curves. Snapshot from film. Digital image. IMDb. 2002.

How to Be a Latin Lover. Snapshot from film. Digital image. IMDb. 2017.

Fools Rush In. Snapshot from film. Digital image. IMDb. 1997.

El Norte. Snapshot from film. Digital image. IMDb. 1983.

IUB Streaming Titles

The following resources require IUB CAS Authentication.

The Blending of Culture: Latino influence on America (29 min., 2001) 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.

Counseling with Latino(a)s in a time of growth and change (65 min., 2004) This video presents a lecture by Patricia Arrendondo, Arizona State University, on the counseling of Latinos and Latino families. Latinos are multi-generational, inter- ethnic, immigrant, and the fastest growing population in the U.S. The lecture includes the following topics: demographics, cultural values and world views, personal and family identity, societal stressors, healthcare orientations, and contemporary issues. Includes case examples with proposed interventions.

Dolores (97min., 2017) Dolores Huerta is among the most important, yet least known, activists in American history. An equal partner in co-founding the first farm workers unions with Cesar Chavez, her enormous contributions have gone largely unrecognized. Dolores tirelessly led the fight for racial and labor justice alongside Chavez, becoming one of the most defiant feminists of the twentieth century - and she continues the fight to this day, at 87. With intimate and unprecedented access to this intensely private mother to eleven, the film reveals the raw, personal stakes involved in committing one's life to social change.

Hispanic Americans: Second Generation (44 min., 1995) Hosted by actor Jimmy Smits, this program examines how second-generation Hispanics are adapting to American society, and how they are maintaining their Latino roots while assimilating into the American cultural mainstream. A variety of famous and everyday Hispanic Americans are interviewed, including pop film director Richard Rodriquez. Hispanics from doctors and police officers to comedians, fashion designers, and rock stars discuss the continuing role of family, and the ongoing battles with ethnic stereotyping.

Issues of Latino Identity: Yearning to Be… (29 min., 2001) 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.

Latino: the changing face of America (59 min., 2016) By 2035, Latinos will represent 35% of the U.S. population. How will this impact America's political, social, economic and cultural future? In 2016, will Latinos pick the next U.S. president? Immigration has played an important role in the history of the United States, yet Latinos are not becoming Americans like the immigrants before them. In 2012, Latinos as a group, had overwhelmingly voted for President Obama (75% to 27%) and thus given him a second term in office. That day, Latinos as a unified demographic, demonstrated that they can indeed pick the next President. Republicans and Democrats realize they need the Latino electorate. But to what extent has Latino influence already changed the identity and economic structure of the country?

Latino Americans: the 500-year legacy that shaped a nation (360 min., 2013) Latino Americans chronicles the rich and varied history and experiences of Latinos, who have for the past 500-plus years helped shape what is today the United States. It is a story of people, politics, and culture, intersecting with much that is central to the history of the United States while also going to places where standard U.S. histories do not tend to tread. (See IUCAT for individual episodes.)

Tal Como Somos: Latino GBT Community (71 min., 2007) The gay, bisexual, and transgender community still struggles to find its place among the rich traditions of Latino culture. This extended documentary examines the lives of seven Latino GBT men and women, offering profound insights into their relationships with family and loved ones while exploring their sexuality in the contexts of culture, religion, and work. This version offers more in-depth material than the 34-minute edition (item #39229) and features a greater number of on-camera participants. Subjects include Gus and Marcelo, a young couple; Oscar, a dancer and choreographer; Gabriela, once a boy, now a woman; Ernesto, an HIV-positive bisexual; and David, a burdened New Yorker. In addition, the film's host - Dusty, a Panamanian social activist - interweaves these stories with his own wise commentary.

Shopping to Belong: Consumerism and the Latino Community (30 min., 2007) Most Americans engage in "retail therapy" from time to time, but what form does it take among immigrant populations? Is excessive shopping a way of coming to grips with a new culture-and leaving another behind? This program examines that possibility in the context of the Latino community, raising provocative questions about cultural identity, consumerism, and assimilation. Ten first-generation immigrants from various Latin American countries-including Mexico, El Salvador, Venezuela, and Peru-share their thoughts and experiences, shedding light on the transition from impoverished environs to the wealthiest and most extravagant society in the world.

Witness to History: US Intervention in Latin America (16 min., 1987) This program looks at the history of U.S.-Latin American affairs from the era of the Monroe Doctrine (1823) through the turn of the century to the 1960s. Archival footage documents many of the events that played a major part in the development of that relationship such as the Spanish-American War and the building of the Panama Canal. Also highlighted are some examples of U.S. military intervention in Latin America such as occupation of Nicaragua, the Bay of Pigs invasion of 1961 and the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962.

IUB DVD/Video Films

To check out media items, you must have a valid IU crimson or borrower's card. Be sure to check with Media Services for hours. VHS titles are housed off-site at ALF, and can be requested via IUCAT. Suggested keywords in IUCAT:  Mexican Americans, Immigrant*, Hispanic and*. Limit to film & video, dvd/videodisc, Bloomington campus.

A Day Without a Mexican (98 min., 2004) California awakens one day to discover that one third of its population has vanished. A peculiar pink fog surrounds the state and communication outside its boundaries has completely shut down. As the day progresses, it becomes apparent the sole characteristic linking the missing 14 million is their Hispanic heritage.

Coco (105 min., 2017) Despite his family's baffling generations-old ban on music, Miguel dreams of becoming an accomplished musician like his idol, Ernesto de la Cruz. Desperate to prove his talent, Miguel finds himself in the stunning and colorful Land of the Dead following a mysterious chain of events. Along the way, he meets charming trickster Hector, and together, they set off on an extraordinary journey to unlock the real story behind Miguel's family history.

Like Water for Chocolate (105 min., 1992) Romantic fantasy set in Mexico during the early 20th century. A young couple is blocked from marrying by the demands of the young woman's cold and selfish mother. To be near his love, the young man marries her sister, and she expresses her passion for him through her cooking.

Maid in Manhattan (105 min., 2003) A struggling single mom takes a job as a chambermaid at a luxury hotel in New York. She meets and falls in love with a suave and sophisticated heir to an American political dynasty, who mistakes her for a society woman. When her real identity is revealed, the reality about their separate lives sets in.

Pan’s Labyrinth (119 min., 2006) When young Ofelia and her mother go to live with her new stepfather on a rural military outpost, she finds herself in a world of unimaginable cruelty. Soon Ofelia finds the creatures of her imagination in which she used to escape have become a reality and she must battle them to save both her mother and herself.

Real Women Have Curves (86 min., 2002) Should she leave home, go to college and experience life? Or stay home, get married, and keep working in her sister's struggling garment factory? It may seem an easy decision, but for 18-year-old Ana, every choice she makes this summer will change her life.

Spanglish (131 min., 2005) When Flor and her daughter Christina come to the United States, Flor gets a job as a maid at the home of a successful chef John Clasky, his insecure wife Deborah, their two children, and Deborah's mother. Despite Flor's lack of English, she does the best she can to assist the Clasky family in more than just house cleaning matters. However, when Flor is forced to live with the family over the summer, she has no choice but to bring Christina along. Deborah, much to Flor's disliking, treats Christina much like her own and at the same time she hurts the feelings of her own daughter, Bernice. When John's dreams begin to unravel, he begins to feel like his whole world is coming down around him. Told through Christina's college letter to Princeton University, Christina learns that things come and go in life, but family is the most important thing a person can have.

Under the Same Moon (110 min., 2007) Tells the parallel stories of nine-year-old Carlitos and his mother, Rosario. In the hopes of providing a better life for her son, Rosario works illegally in the U.S. while Rosario's mother cares for Carlitos in Mexico. Mother and son face daunting challenges and obstacles to reunite, but are sustained by their constant hope of finally being together again.

Women of Latin America (60 min., 2004) This documentary series looks at Latin America through its women. Some of them transport drugs across borders, fight in rebel armies, bear children in poverty, search for sons and daughters who have vanished during political oppression, and generally bear the burden of living a third-world existence. Other women, teachers, engineers, deputies, ministers and even a president, contribute their stories. But it also shows the struggle against great odds to survive racial and class discrimination, revolution, political injustice and chronic economic instability.

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