Spanish-Language Films that Will Rock Your Mundo
Learning a language isn’t always memorising verbs, learning conjugations, reciting vocab and interacting with others. Sometimes learning a language means you relaxing, listening, and watching television and movies. Not only does it allow for a semi-immersive experience, you learn context, how “real” people interact, and gain more exposure to the sounds. So, in hopes of helping out your Spanish-language journey, check out these 5 films from the Hispanosphere that will activate all your senses.
1.Te Prometo Anarquía
Translation: I Promise You Anarchy
Country of Origin: Mexico
The first of the films on our list was directed by Hernández Cordón and set in the very large capital, Mexico City. A thematically coming of age story, it tells the tale of adolescence, interspersed with conflict, love in all of its forms, betrayal around the darker topic of kidnapping and cartels, affecting all parts of Mexican society. The plot focuses on two young male skateboarders, who begin an intimate love affair. One of them is dating another girl, which only serves to develop a complex love triangle. The film deals with how a macho culture deals with issues related to the LGBT community and juxtaposes this from both boys’ introspection. The cinematography beautifully captures the vast expanse of the urban jungle that is Mexico City. One of the highlights is also the wonderful indie soundtrack which helps to elevate the film, quite possibly to cult status.
Translation: Shrew’s Nest
Country of Origin: Spain
Crossing the Atlantic for a quick bit, we find ourselves in Spain. Directed by Juanfer Andrés and Esteban Roel, this dark thriller takes place in the backdrop of Franco’s conservative 1950s Spain. The plot revolves around the underlying tension between two orphaned sisters. The older sister Montse is placed in charge of looking after her younger sister, Nadia. The younger sister, Nadia seeks to turn away from her devoutly-religious sister and has her eye on one potential male-suitor. One day an unexpected injured man arrives at their home, which is where the story begins to unravel and a sinister secret about their existence emerges. Yeah, it’s juicy.
Country of Origin: Venezuela
They say that beauty can be borne of heartbreak. Similarly, there is something to be said about the art that is coming out of Venezuela at the moment, despite the heavy political climate. Directed by Marcel Rasquin, this movie aims at recounting the story of two brothers who live in the one of the most violent barrios in Caracas called La Ceniza where they both harbour dreams of becoming professional soccer players. Naturally, as per the current situation in Caracas, the film also acts as a social critique. Both brothers have to overcome obstacles and ever-present dangers such as gang violence which affect the local community. Their dedicated single mother has sacrificed a lot to help them to chase their dream and one day a scout invites them to attend a soccer trial. The question is, though, will they make it?
Country of Origin: Argentina
Argentina always knows how to keep its audiences on their toes, and this horror film by director Gonzalo Calzado is no exception. It takes place during the outbreak of the yellow fever epidemic in 1871. When Argentine soldiers returning from war in Paraguay come home, they bring the fatal illness along with them, causing it to spread across much of Argentina.The story centres on the journey of a young priest, en route to Buenos Aires. He is led by a strong religious conviction to stop at his family estate in the Pampas. Upon arrival, he encounters a grim situation: his brother is in the terminal stage of yellow fever. His sister-in-law and niece are enchained inside the chapel on the estate, both unable to leave. The priest must learn how to interact with the only remaining servant on the estate and that’s where the terror beings, as hallucination and reality begin to blur everything. Much of the film is a chilling and desolate depiction of the era. A nice twist to the ‘period piece’.
5. Camino a la Paz
Translation: Journey to La Paz (capital of Bolivia, bordering country to Argentina) but also translates as “Journey to Peace”, an intended pun, of course.
Country of Origin: Argentina
The final film that we’re recommending is also Argentine. Directed by Francisco Varone, the movie features a 35-year-old part-time taxi driver and part-time rocker Sebastian who lives with his wife. He is the proud owner of an old cherished Peugeot 505, which he inherited from his father. One day, one of his regular customers Jalil, an elderly muslim gentleman who is scared of flying, asks Sebastian to make the daunting journey from Buenos Aires to La Paz because he wants to visit his sick brother in the hospital. La Paz is over 2,000 miles away.
Finally Sebastian agrees to take him there which turns this film into a heart-warming, redemption, road trip about coming to terms with life’s complexities, defining who we are as we grow old and evolve. Initially the pair have to get used to one another, allowing for some brief comic relief.
So, what’d you think? Go ahead, indulge a little. Break out the popcorn, get a soft blanket and get your learning on!