Latin Films in NYC

Arts & Entertainment

by Rab Messina, contributor, 04/14/2010

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From April 16–23, the 11th Havana Film Festival will once again highlight both award-winning features and lesser-known independent films that emphasize the Latin American experience in and beyond the United States. In fact, more Latin film is popping up all the cinema world this spring, as works from Colombia, Cuba, Mexico and other Spanish-speaking countries are filling up the Tribeca Film Festival roster or surfacing as regular runs at NYC theaters like the Angelika Film Center. Below are just a few of the flicks you shouldn't miss, brought to you by

Adrián Biniez, Uruguay (2009)
In this quirky-and-slightly-less-creepy version of One Hour Photo and Following, nerdy supermarket night guard Jara falls in love with Julia, a cleaning woman he’s only seen through a security camera. At first he follows her movements at work, but his crush soon escalates to I’ll-follow-you-to-the-movies-and-the-beach-and-even-on-a-date-with-another-guy proportions. This account of the meeting of two lonely hearts was nominated for a Golden Berlin Bear, a Goya for the best Spanish-language foreign film, and won the Horizons Award at the San Sebastián International Film Festival. Part of the Havana Film Festival. Friday, April 23 at 5pm, $10, Director’s Guild of America Theater

El secreto de sus ojos
Juan José Campanella, Argentina (2009)
One of the reasons why I’m recommending this flick is because it just took home the Academy Award for Best Foreign Film. The other reason I’m recommending this film is because I’d watch anything with Ricardo Darín in it. But on to the plot: This is a thriller in which a retired lawyer goes over a cold case of rape, murder and false conviction that happened 25 years ago—but he still can’t shake off. The most breathtaking part? The lawyer is Ricardo Darín. Spoiler alert: He is awesome. Opens April 16, $12, regular run at the Angelika Film Center

La sangre y la lluvia
Jorge Navas, Colombia (2009)
The underworld of Bogota is the setting for this neo-noir slice of crude life. When his brother is murdered by a gang, Jorge decides to go Black Mamba on them. An accident brings him closer to Ángela, a lonely yet attractive manic pixie girl he'd met one rainy night on the violent city streets. Rawr. Part of the Tribeca Film Festival. April 28 at 6:30 p.m., April 29 at 8:30 p.m., April 30 at 9:45 p.m. and May 1 at 3:30 p.m., $12, Village East Cinema

Elvis and Madonna
Marcelo Laffitte, Brazil (2008)
In this comedic story about a grunt worker (and tomboy) Elvis and a dragalicious Madonna, the former needs some direction, and the latter needs funding for her stage show. When the two get together, it’s true love. Part of the Tribeca Film Festival. April 24 at 3:45 p.m., $12, Village East Cinema; April 27 at 10:00 p.m. and April 30 at 3:00 p.m., $12, Clearview Chelsea Cinema

The Sentimental Engine Slayer
Omar Rodríguez López, Mexico/United States (2009)
I’m not even going to lie: I swallow a little of my own vomit every time I’m forced to watch a border movie, but this one has The Mars Volta seal of approval. The director, writer and star of coming-of-age drama The Sentimental Engine Slayer (Really? That title makes Dave Eggers happy) is Volta guitarist and mastermind Omar Rodríguez López. That’s enough to put me on a seat. Part of the Tribeca Film Festival. April 22 at 10:30 p.m., April 23 at 10:30 p.m., April 25 at 9:30 p.m. and April 27 at 5:45 p.m., $12, Village East Cinema

For the complete list of Latin films and to check out movie trailers, visit


related venues/(3)

  1. 1
    Village East Cinema
    181-189 Second Ave
    Manhattan – East Village
    NY 10003
  2. 2
    Angelika Film Center
    18 W Houston St
    Manhattan – multiple locations
    NY 10012
  3. 3
    Directors Guild of America
    110 W 57th St
    Manhattan – Midtown West

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