Latin American cinema has grown and evolved considerably throughout history, along with the social, economic and political factors that have profoundly influenced it. In the 1970s and 1980s, the military dictatorships that invaded certain countries forced artists into silence, even into exile. But once these dictatorships were over, Latin American cinema re-emerged stronger than ever and with a new purpose: to recount everything that was experienced at the time. These are the great themes of the last decades of the 20th century.
Of course, at the dawn of a new century, Latin American cinema took a new direction and totally reinvented itself. Different trends have emerged in each country, and many independent filmmakers have created a new collective identity to stand out globally. The 2000s also saw the debut of some of Latin America’s greatest directors, such as Lucrecia Martel, the iconic Pablo Larraín, Claudia Llosa and Carlos Reygadas, who contributed enormously to the industry with their films and their own style. distinctive. This new way of approaching cinema also diversifies the stories to be told, and allows them to be presented without shame. The 2000s were marked by the emergence of films with a very strong identity, through which we can understand the history of Latin America. The cinema in these countries is constantly evolving and changing, but there are classics that will forever remain embedded in their history. Let’s take a look at some of them.
8/8 La Cienaga
The 2001 movie La Cienaga was the feature debut of Lucrecia Martel, who also wrote the screenplay. This Argentinian production was filmed in the northwest region of the country and features two cousins and their families: Mecha (Graciela Borges), wealthy and affluent, and Tali (Mercedes Morán), a middle-class woman. Although their realities are very different, they are both, for different reasons, obsessed and falling apart. An unexpected accident ends up bringing the two families together, who must share their daily life in the middle of a scorching summer where nothing seems to happen, but everything is about to explode. La Cienaga is a co-production between Argentina, Spain and France.
This 2004 comedy is a co-production of Uruguay, Argentina, Spain and Germany, and is directed by Pablo Stoll and Juan Pablo Rebella. Whiskey is centered around Jacobo (Andrés Pazos), the owner of a sock factory whose life is absolutely monotonous and banal. His relationship with Marta (Mirella Pascual), his trusted employee, is strictly work-related and shrouded in silence. But when his long-lost brother Herman (Jorge Bolani) pays him a surprise visit, Jacobo enlists the help of his loyal employee to deal with this uncomfortable situation.
6/8 Y Tu Mama Tambien
Oscar-winning director Alfonso Cuarón directed Y Tu Mama Tambien, the 2001 road movie with Gael García Bernal, Diego Luna and Maribel Verdú. This classic of Mexican cinema features Julio and Tenoch, two teenagers who travel in search of new experiences. At a wedding, they meet Luisa, a woman ten years their senior, who immediately catches their attention. After ignoring them for a while, Luisa accepts their invitation to visit a secluded beach, an adventure that not only tests their friendship, but marks their lives forever.
5/8 Amores Perros (Love is a female dog)
In Mexico City, a fatal car accident connects three different stories. One story features Octavio (Gael García Bernal), a young man who has decided to run away with Susana (Vanessa Bauche), his brother’s wife. In order to make money, he bets on dog fights using his pet, Cofi. Meanwhile, Daniel (Álvaro Guerrero) plans to leave his family and run away with Valeria (Goya Toledo), a young model, but she suffers an accident the day they decide to start their new life. Finally, there’s the story of El Chivo (Emilio Echevarría), a former guerrilla-turned-hitman who makes a terrible decision after losing contact with his daughter. Mexican cinema Love Perros was the directorial debut of Alejandro González Iñárritu, and is part of The Death Trilogy with 21 grams (21 grams) and babel.
4/8 Nueve Reinas (Nine Queens)
The 2000 movie New Queens is one of two feature films directed by Fabián Bielinsky and stars Ricardo Darín, Gastón Pauls and Leticia Brédice, among others. The production follows the story of Juan and Marcos, two Argentinian crooks who unexpectedly meet and decide to join forces and work together. Soon they become involved in a life-changing scheme in which they must steal fake stamps for a millionaire to add to his collection. But they only have one day to make this theft, so they need to be honed in order to secure the loot.
3/8 El Laberinto Del Fauno (Pan’s Labyrinth)
2006 marked the release of El Laberinto Del Fauno, a Spanish-Mexican film directed by Guillermo del Toro that received worldwide acclaim. Starring Ivana Baquero, Sergi López, Ariadna Gil, Doug Jones, Maribel Verdú and Álex Angulo, the production is set in post-Civil War Spain in 1944 and features a young girl named Ofelia and her mother, who travel to meet her new stepfather, Vidal. But this post-war story mixes with fantasy, because thanks to Pan the faun, Ofelia discovers a big secret about herself: she is in fact the last princess of her line, and to return to her kingdom, she must overcome three trials to demonstrate that his soul is still intact.
2/8 Cidade de Deus (City of God)
City of Deus is a Brazilian film based on real events (as depicted by the BBC). It is inspired by the book of the same name by Paulo Lins and directed by Fernando Meirelles. This 2002 production follows the lives of several residents of a dangerous slum in Rio de Janeiro for almost 30 years. It presents the stories of several young people: from Buscapé, a vulnerable boy who wants to be a photographer, to Dadinho, a newcomer to the neighborhood who aspires to be a criminal like Cabeleira and his gang of gas truck thieves. City of Deus stars Alexandre Rodrigues, Leandro Firmino, Phellipe Haagensen, Douglas Silva and Jonathan Haagensen, among others.
1/8 El Secreto de Sus Ojos (The Secret in Their Eyes)
El Secreto de Sus Ojos was the second Argentinian film to win the Oscar for Best International Feature Film and one of the highest-grossing films in the country’s history. Directed by Juan José Campanella and based on the novel The Pregunta de Sus Ojos (The question in their eyes) by Eduardo Sacheri, the film revolves around Benjamín (Ricardo Darín), an officer who recently retired from his position in the criminal court. In order to occupy his days, he undertakes to write a book on an old case of rape and murder which he could not solve 25 years ago and which made him obsessed. But this affair hides terrible secrets, and Benjamín finds himself plunged into a darkness that sets him adrift. Joining Darín in the cast are Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago, Guillermo Francella. Given the success of this production, an American remake was released in 2015, starring Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman and Julia Roberts.