This summer I’ve made a point of seeing several movies made by Spanish speaking directors. I find it very enjoyable to keep up with my language skills by doing this because I love movies. Here are five of my favorite movies so far.
Blancanieves won many awards, and is one of the most creative retelling of a fairy tale I have ever seen. This 2012 film is Snow White as a bullfighter in Seville in the 1920s. Yes, you read that right! The Cincinnati Film Society screened this art movie at the Cincinnati Art Academy in June. The black and white movie has a beautiful score, but no sound. It is rated PG-13, and I could see showing sections of it in class, although as I post this, I do not think it is available for purchase yet.
Los Colores de la montaña is heartbreakingly beautiful. This 2010 Colombian movie tells about the armed conflict affecting many rural communities in Colombia from a nine year old’s point of view. The movie is not rated, but would probably merit a PG-13 for violence. I plan on using this with my Spanish IV students this year. You can find a wonderful study guide here.
Los Viajes del viento is another Colombian film made in 2009. This movie tells the story of Fermín who wants to be an apprentice to Ignacio, a master musician who plays the accordion. This movie is also not rated, and excerpts of it would be a wonderful addition to a music unit. The cinematography is beautiful, but the meandering plot may not hold students’ attention for a full screening.
El secreto de sus ojos is a 2009 Argentinian thriller. Ricardo Darín plays a recently retired legal counselor who tries to resolve a homicide that has haunted him his whole career. I really enjoy this genre of movies, and was very pleased with this one in particular. This is not a movie that is appropriate for class use. It is rated R, and earns its rating with some strong violent scenes.
El aura is another Argentinian thriller with Ricardo Darín playing the leading role again. A epileptic taxidermist plans a heist in this 2005 movie. I have to admit I did some multitasking as I saw this movie on Netflix. I am not sure if I didn’t feel it was as engaging as Secreto because of that, or if I started multitasking because it wasn’t as engaging.
I hope to see more movies in Spanish via Netflix before school starts. In my queue today: Karen Cries on the Bus, Amador, Madeinusa, Butterfly and The Window. I saw that Valentin is also available, and if you haven’t seen that movie yet, I highly recommend it. Almodóvar’s new movie, Los amantes pasajeros (I’m So Excited) is also showing in theaters, so I hope to squeeze that in also.
What movies have you seen this year? How do you keep up with new movies in Spanish?