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'Estación Catorce' will premiere in Miami International Film Festival. Photo: MIFF - YouTube
'Estación Catorce' focuses on the impact of violence, sexism and corruption on Mexican children. Photo: MIFF - YouTube

Ten Latino movies to watch at the Miami Film Festival

Many Latin American films will premiere at the Miami Film Festival, which begins on March 4. Many are available to watch online in the United States.

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Are you not in Miami to attend one of the most important festivals in the movie industry? Don't worry, neither are we. But that will not stop us from enjoying special productions that filmmakers from around the world will premiere at the annual event. 

We are talking about the Miami International Film Festival (MIFF), which begins this Friday, March 4, and will run until Sunday, March 13. In addition to the in-person edition, the festival will have a paid virtual edition, which will allow viewers to enjoy short and feature films, dramas, musicals, animation movies, documentaries, science fiction, suspense, love, politics, migration, LGBTQ, etc...

Among the multitude of offerings, there are numerous movies directed by Latin American filmmakers. Take a look at this list of recommendations below. In each film, you will find an external link that leads to the Festival website. Check it out, because some movies can only be viewed in the United States. 

Now… buy the tickets online, cook popcorn, and get ready for a perfect binge-watching plan this weekend.

1) Parsley

We have already told you about this film here. The movie tells one of the many stories of survival during the Haitian genocide that left around 30,000 people dead in 1937. The execution was ordered by former Dominican dictator Rafael L. Trujillo.

Why you should watch it: It offers a historical perspective on a bloody event that Haitians and Dominicans will never forget.

2) Mija

It was a hit at the Sundance Film Festival. Mija is a documentary about two young Mexicans who look for a better future in the music industry, facing the potential deportation of their undocumented parents.

Why you should watch it: This documentary is essential to shed hope on Latino migration in the United States to conquer dreams.

3) Omara

Considered an icon of Afro-Cuban culture, Omara Portuondo stars in this documentary directed by Hugo Pérez. Pérez, a Cuban-American, tells the story of Omara overcoming  discrimination and racism.

Why you should watch it: We should all know the person behind the artist Omara, and how she inspired the whole world with her music.

 4) Strangers to Peace

Through three characters, who are former members of the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), the film narrates their lives after deserting the guerrillas.

Why you should watch it?: To think about the process of rebuilding self-identity after years and years in the jungle and in combat. What does the future hold for former guerrilla fighters who are seen as terrorists in society? This film opens a necessary debate on the reintegration of former FARC members in Colombia.

5) La Guerra Civil

What kind of Mexican do you want to be? How could boxing sink or crown you at the top of the sport? Latina actress, producer and also director Eva Longoria searches for the answers of these questions with her film. 

Why you should watch it: To learn about the relevance of a sport like boxing in Mexican and Mexican-American communities and its relationship with migration.

6) The Lost Children of Jarabacoa

Jarabacoa: Why is adoption so common in this remote area of ​​the Dominican Republic? A journalist investigates the story of a woman, who has been given up for adoption. Her research will lead her to discover the unexpected. The film is directed by the Cuban-Spanish director Rolando Díaz.

Why you should watch it: Adoptions and stories of lost children remain a painful reality in many small towns throughout the Caribbean and  Latin America. When the reality is exposed on the big screen, the call to attention is heard loudly, and this is what this film has achieved by winning 'Best Production' at the Trieste Ibero-Latin American Festival.

7) Option Zero

In this film, a group of Cuban migrants use their mobile devices to record the most intimate moments of their journey through the Darién Gap, on the border between Colombia and Panama. However, after finally reaching the border, they could must stop. 

Directed by Cuban Marcel Beltrán, this production is a story full of testimonies about Cuban migration to the United States.

Why you should watch it:  It includes real recordings of migrants passing through the jungle, and portrays the helplessness of being one far away from home.

8) Estación Catorce

Do Latin American children learn to face danger from their early childhood? How do violence, sexism and corruption affect the conception of the world of the kids? Director Diana Cardozo explores this reality in Mexico through the seven-year-old character Luis.

Why watch it?: On a continent where the worldview seems toxic from the earliest stages of life, Estación Catorce represents a mixture of emotions that will captivate people of all ages and nationalities.

9) Jose Feliciano Behind This Guitar

Fifty-five years of a career summed up in 92 minutes of a documentary. This film reviews the artistic achievements of the Puerto Rican-American singer.

Why you should watch it: Beyond “Feliz Navidad,” how much do you know about José Feliciano? This feature film invites you to learn more about the life of this eight-time Grammy winner.

10) Queens of the Revolution 

This film focuses on the story of people from the LGBTQ+ community in Mejunje, a cultural center in Santa Clara, Cuba. They have all been, in one way or another, persecuted for their sexual orientation and presentation.

Why you should watch it: This production portrays the struggle of a community, surrounded by a politically-hostile environment, fighting for their civil rights.

If this ten-movie list is not enough, you will find more movies to watch online on the  Miami International Film Festival’s official website.

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