Reel Corner - July 2018

Hispanic Influence in Films

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Hispanic Influence in Films

Ever since my return from Cuba in January, I have been curious about the Hispanic culture and films. My brother-in-law supported this curiosity by sharing a recent NPR piece he’d heard about the increasing influence of Hispanic culture on the United States film industry.

Hispanics are the fastest-growing ethnic group in the United States, and their passion for movies is unsurpassed. The group bought 25 percent of the tickets sold in 2015, though they comprise just 18 percent of the population. Hispanics, defined by the US Census Bureau as people of “Cuban, Mexican, Puerto Rican, South or Central America or other Spanish Culture or origin regardless of race” are making their presence felt at the box office.

Hispanic moviegoers are not only following stars such as Gina Rodriguez, Gael Garcia, and Bernal and Diego Luna; they are attending mainstream commercial blockbusters, as well. Hollywood experts love to fret about the future of the movie business, but the industry has begun to embrace one group that is indisputably on the rise: the Hispanic audience.

> The Book of Life: A fantastical animated story about the culture and traditions of Day of the Dead.

> The Latino List: Top-notch documentary features strong Latino role models.

> Like Water for Chocolate: This Latin American literature classic tells a passionate love story inspired by Mexican cuisine. (A Reel Corner favorite!)

> McFarland USA:  A poignant story about Latino runners—a Disney winner for families.

> My Family:  An epic tale of a Mexican-American family.

> Quinceañera: An award-winning drama about growing up amid cultural changes.

> Real Women have Curves: A smart, coming-of-age drama that addresses body image.

> Selena:  A touching and ultimately tragic tale of a young Tejano’s rise to music stardom.

> Stand and Deliver:  A math teacher inspires in powerful, fact-based drama.

> Underwater Dreams: An inspiring story about an underdog high school robotics team.

> Coco: A Disney-Pixar animated film about a boy who dreams of becoming a great musician and embarks on a journey to uncover the mysteries behind his ancestors’ stories and traditions.

Kudos to Coligny Theater for recently bringing the film Pope Francis - A Man of His Word to the Hilton Head audience. Pope Francis is one of the most well-known Hispanics in the world.

Pope Francis—A Man of His Word: Intended to be a personal journey with Pope Francis, rather than a biographical documentary about him, the pope’s ideas and his message are central to this documentary. It sets out to present his work of reform and his answers to today’s global questions.

The documentary is a rare co-production with the Vatican, featuring exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and coverage of the Pope addressing his audience directly, answering the world’s questions on life, death, social justice, immigration, ecology, wealth inequality, materialism, and the role of the family. 

Throughout the film, Pope Francis shares his vision of the Church and his deep concern for the poor, his involvement in environmental issues and social justice, and his call for peace in areas of conflict and between world religions. There is also a presence of Saint Francis in the film, connecting back to the pope’s namesake, through accounts of legendary moments in the Saint’s own life as a reformer and ecologist.

You don’t have to be Catholic to appreciate the courage of Pope Francis, a needed leader for our times.


ReelCorner DonneHeadshot0318Donne Paine, film enthusiast, once lived around the corner from the Orson Wells Theater in Cambridge, Massachusetts where her strong interest in films, especially independent ones, began. Supporter of the arts­—especially films—she travels to local and national film festivals including Sundance, Toronto and Tribeca. There is nothing like seeing a film on the big screen. She encourages film goers to support Hilton Head local theaters—Coligny, Park Plaza and Northridge theaters. To support her habit of frequent movie going Donne is an executive recruiter and staff development consultant. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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