Photo courtesy of Hispanicize

During Pride Month, the celebrations must go beyond parties and rainbows. It’s time to learn more about our community and educate ourselves. What better way to do it than with these Latin American cinematic works of art that portray the different realities experienced by the LGBTQ+ community?

‘Fresa y Chocolate’ (Strawberry and Chocolate) – 1993

Directed by Cubans Juan Carlos Tabío and Tomás Gutiérrez Alea, “Fresa y Chocolate” is an Oscar-nominated film that portrays the story of Diego, a young gay artist in Castro and David’s Cuba. Diego is totally at odds with the system, while David is convinced that communism and its ideas are the solution. This film focuses more on the attraction between two opposites in a political environment where being openly homosexual was an act of rebellion. 

‘Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho’ (The Way He Looks) – 2014

Directed by Brazilian Daniel Ribeiro, “Hoje Eu Quero Voltar Sozinho” is a romantic drama that deals with the story of Leonardo, a blind teenager overprotected by his mother, and Gabriel, a new student with whom he develops a very close friendship. This film perfectly portrays Leonardo’s adolescent desire to begin to love and discover his sexuality and how, through Gabriel’s friendship, he is able to live new experiences in his life despite the limitations he has because he is disabled.

‘Las Herederas’ (The Heiresses) – 2018

Directed by Paraguayan Marcelo Martinessi, “Las Herederas” depicts the story of two upper-class women, Chela and Chiquita, who have been in a relationship for years until they run out of financial resources. Chiquita goes to jail for debts, and Chela must find a way to survive. So her journey begins, and after meeting a young woman named Josefina, her world changes completely.

‘Contracorriente’ (Undertow) – 2009

Directed by Peruvian Javier Fuentes-León, “Contracorriente” tells the story of Miguel and Santiago. Miguel is married but must face the reality of his feelings for Santiago when his wife is about to have their first child. He must then decide whether to reveal his secret and live free or bury it forever and continue with the torment of not being able to be with the person he truly loves.

‘La Mission’ – 2009

Directed by Peter Bratt and starring his brother, Benjamin Bratt, “La Mission” tells the story of an ex-convict who tries to rebuild his life and stay on the right path, including fighting for his family and making sure his son doesn’t make the same mistakes. The main character must face another reality and rethink his role as a father when he learns of his son’s sexuality. This film portrays the machismo and prejudices that exist in the Latino community in the United States.

‘Mosquita y Mari’ (Mosquita and Mari) – 2012

Directed by Aurora Guerrero, this film portrays the friendship between two young Latina teenagers living in Los Angeles, Yolanda and Mari, whose bond will grow deeper and lead them to rediscover each other and their families.

claudiaahrens