Ten must-stream movies at the 9th annual Cine Latino

Cine Latino is returning Oct. 8-14 with in-person events for the first time in two years and a focus on Afro-Latino cinema.


Image by Andrew Stoup

The Saint Anthony Main Theater in Minneapolis on Wednesday, Oct. 6. The MSP Film Festival will host the Cine Latino event that highlights new cinema from Latin American film makers from Oct. 8-14.

by James Schaak

After COVID-19 forced last year’s festival to go virtual, the MSP Film Society’s Cine Latino is returning to in-person theatres Oct. 8-14 for its 9th annual celebration of Latin American and Iberian film.

After a successful pandemic-induced virtual festival last year, Cine Latino will continue to offer virtual screenings of films; every movie will be available for viewing online through Oct. 17. This year’s lineup pays special attention to the contributions of Afro-Latino cinema, a decision that organizers felt necessary after the murder of George Floyd turned Minneapolis into the international epicenter of the Black Lives Matter movement.

Like past years, Cine Latino is aiming to expand its audience’s perception of Latin film by providing the Twin Cities area with a diverse array of filmmakers, genres and subject matter.

10: “7 Prisoners” dir. Alexandre Moratto (2021)
Hot off its premiere at the Venice Film Festival, “7 Prisoners” follows a Brazilian teenager fighting off human trafficking threats while working in a junkyard to provide for his family. The short film “Elena,” a documentary directed by Michèle Stephenson about the struggles Black women on the island of Hispaniola face, will be shown directly before this movie.

9: “Brouwer: The Origin of the Shadow” dir. Katherine T. Gavilán and Lisandra López Fabé (2019)
This documentary about Leo Brouwer, the world-renowned Cuban composer, pushes the limits of the documentary genre in its questioning of art, the artist and Cuba at large.

8: “Executive Order” dir. Lázaro Ramos (2020)
This sci-fi feature follows two roommates in a dystopic future where Brazil’s Black citizens are violently sent back to Africa.

7: “Finlandia” dir. Horacio Alcala (2021)
Cine Latino will be presenting the U.S. premiere of this film in which an ill-intentioned Spanish fashion designer falls in love with Oaxaca, Mexico’s queer Muxe community.

6: “Liborio” dir. Nino Martinez Sosa (2021)
This is the fascinating true story of a peasant-turned-prophet whose followers confront the arrival of U.S. Marines in early 20th century Dominican Republic.

5: “Nahuel and the Magic Book” dir. Germán Acuña (2020)
The only animated feature film at Cine Latino is a family-friendly Chilean movie about Nahuel, a child on a fantastical adventure after a mysterious discovery.

4: “Prayers for the Stolen” dir. Tatiana Huezo (2021)
After being selected to compete in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival, director Tatiana Huezo has made a name for herself as one of the brightest new voices in Mexican cinema with this feature set in a dangerous, isolated town in the mountains. The short film shown before Huezo’s will be the international premiere of “Rosa Rosae. A Spanish Civil War Elegy” directed by the legendary filmmaker Carlos Saura.

3: “Songs That Flood the River” dir. Gérman Arango Rengon (2020)
Set on Colombia’s Pacific coast, this movie is a look at the Afro-Colombian practice of singing alabados, a traditional funeral chant, and how art can weave together the tragedies of a violent history with a hope for the future.

2: “The Best Families” dir. Javier Fuentes-León (2021)
This Peruvian comedy satirizes class relations by tracking two sets of women — a pair of bourgeoise frenemies and the sisters who work as their housekeepers — as they begin to confront the secrets that connect them.

1: “Y tu mamá también” dir. Alfonso Cuarón (2001)
This year marks the 20th anniversary of this classic piece of Mexican cinema, and Cine Latino is celebrating this milestone by including it on its setlist.