Friday, May 1, 2009

TCM's Latino Images in Film Festival

After successful runs with their Asian Images in Film, Screened Out: Gay Images in Film and African-American Images in Film, Turner Classic Movies is giving my people their due with Latino Images in Film festival for the month of May. I have been super excited about this festival since I heard about it a few months ago on the TCM message boards. On Tuesday and Thursdays, TCM will air 5 films that deal touch upon Latino culture and issues. They also have a snazzy new site devoted to the festival (check it out here).

Why am I excited about this? Because I'm a Latina. I'm first generation American and my mother is 100% full-blooded Hispanic from the Dominican Republic. I am fluent in Spanish, I eat my arroz con habichuelas and have the cadera to prove it. What does it mean to be a Latina? For me it means maintaining the culture, learning about my heritage and embracing that Latina fire and passion that runs through my veins.

Classic films are predominantly Caucasian but it has been surprising to find out over the years how many films either have Latino characters or showcase Latino actors. With TCM's list of films for their festival, I have discovered even more!

In honor of Latino Images in Film, I'll be doing a month long series on this blog. For the first three weeks I'll be posting a review of one film on Mondays and Wednesdays before it airs the next day and will also include the following day's full schedule. I'll be reviewing a total of 6 films and all of them happen to be available on DVD just in case you don't have TCM. I hope this will encourage you to watch the films or at least be aware of the films that are out there. For the last week, I tentatively have planned a Latino Images in Film contest.

Each review will contain a summary, background information and what I think about the representation of Latinos in the film. I'll also include a rating level of "Brown Face". Brown face is what I call the Hispanic equivalent to Black face. This is when they take Caucasian actors and put some dark make-up on them to make them look more ethnic. They also used Mediterannean and olive-skinned European actors to look Latino and I also consider this a form of Brown face. I'll point out along the way the level of brown face in each film.

Disclaimer - I'm doing this purely because I want to and not because I was asked to.

I hope you'll enjoy the series!


  1. Sounds interesting-- will look forward to this.

  2. Neat! Looking forward to your thoughts on this.

  3. Hi Raquelle
    I only just came across your site recently but I've really enjoyed it and I would like to give you the Kreativ Blogger Award. I don't know if you have received one before but if you'd like to accept, please see my post "Award Tour II" to pick up the graphic and then pick six favourite blogs yourself. Hope that all makes sense!

  4. Yay! I'm glad TCM will be running these films. It's good to see that they are embracing diversity on the channel. Speaking of "Brown Face", I think the worst example of this was Charleton Heston's character in "Touch of Evil". I remember being shocked by it the first time I saw the film!

  5. Arroz con habichuelas -- I know it's a rice dish but what are habichuelas?

  6. It is so great that TCM is doing the Latino Images in Film festival. Hispanic people certainly have not gotten their due in film. And I look forward to your series on the blog, especially the whole discussion of brown face, which I haven't seen discussed anywhere else.

  7. Definitely looking forward to your series, Raquelle! And I agree with Crystal-- I think the worst case of "brown face" was Charleton Heston in Touch of Evil. I saw it in film class once and was appalled.

    ps. I am so envious that you speak Spanish! I wish I could :)

  8. As bad as Heston is--and he is unmistakably bad--he has to stand behind Jennifer Jones for her role in Duel in the Sun.

  9. Wish I could speak spanish >:|
    Looking forward to the series!

  10. I'll be watching for your posts. :) Good for you for taking on such a big project!

    Best wishes,

  11. Raquelle,
    ¡Grande! No sé prácticamente nada sobre las películas del latino.


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