What is the National Film Registry?
The National Film Registry (NFR) is the United States National Film Preservation Board‘s (NFPB) selection of movies that are believed to be deserving of preservation. The NFPB, established by the National Film Preservation Act of 1988.
The National Film Preserve Board’s mission, to which the NFR contributes, is to ensure the survival, conservation, and increased public availability of America’s film heritage and that it’s added to the Library of Congress.
The Hispanic Caucus and the National Film Registry
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus is continuing work; it started earlier and nominated the movie “Selena” for the National Film Registry. A list of 25 more films it would like to see the registry add. The Library of Congress’s National Film Registry must reflect American culture’s true diversity.
“Though Latinos comprise almost 20 percent of our country’s population, they remain severely underrepresented in Hollywood,” Ruiz, chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, said in a statement. “Including more Latino films in the National Film Registry will help elevate Latino stories, promote an inclusive media landscape, and empower Latino filmmakers and storytellers.”
The Library of Congress digs the idea…
“The Library of Congress is grateful for the nominations from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and for their interest in the National Film Registry,” Brett Zongker, a spokesman for the Library of Congress, said in a statement, adding, “The registry seeks to ensure the preservation of films that showcase the range and diversity of America’s film heritage.”
How was the list made?
List of films developed the caucus’s list through feedback from constituents through el Twitter. Recommendations were also given by groups such as the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures, the National Hispanic Foundation of the Arts, the National Hispanic Media Coalition, and the Latinx House (which uses a gender-neutral term for Latinos).
“Our stories have often been missing from American film, and even less often have been recognized as important cultural pieces in American history,” Castro said in a phone interview. “This is an effort to change that.”
The 25 films the caucus chose reflect stories from a variety of nationalities, including Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, Colombian, Argentine, Salvadoran, and Nicaraguan.
What’s in the List?
For a full list of the nominated films, click here or see below:
“The Ballad of Gregorio Cortez” by Robert Young (1982). The Western film tells the true story of a Mexican farmer-turned-outlaw hero in turn-of-the-century South Texas.
“Latino” by Haskell Wexler (1985). A Mexican American Green Beret starts to question his beliefs as he is sent to lead the Contra rebels on a series of raids in Nicaragua.
“The Milagro Beanfield War” by Robert Redford (1988). It tells the story of a small New Mexico town’s confrontation with powerful business interests.
“Romero” by John Duigan (1989). A biopic about Salvadoran Archbishop Oscar Romero’s assassination in 1980 and El Salvador’s civil war.
“Lo que le pasó a Santiago” (“What Happened to Santiago”) by Jacobo Morales (1989). A widower in Puerto Rico begins a new relationship with a mysterious woman.
“American Me” by Edward James Olmos (1992). The story of a Mexican American man’s experience with prison and discrimination.
“Blood In, Blood Out” by Taylor Hackford (1993). The tragedy of three Chicano cousins who are divided by their divergent life choices amid gang conflict in East Los Angeles.
“My Family” by Gregory Nava (1995). A generational epic of an Mexican American family through the 20th century.
“Tortilla Soup” by María Ripoll (2001). The story of three adult sisters and their father, a retired chef, who insists that they all gather every Sunday for dinner.
“Spy Kids” by Robert Rodriguez (2001). Two children become spies after they discover that their parents are superhero spies.
“12 Horas” (“12 Hours”) by Raúl Marchand Sánchez (2001). The film shows 12 hours in the life of a taxi driver and other characters in Santurce, Puerto Rico, amid the reality of the night life.
“Frida” by Julie Taymor (2002). A biopic following the life of the Mexican artist Frida Kahlo.
“Raising Victor Vargas” by Peter Sollett (2002). A Dominican American teenager in New York comes to terms with his family and romantic relationships.
“The Motorcycle Diaries” (2004) by Walter Salles. A road movie following Ernesto “Che” Guevara’s formative motorcycle journey across South America in the early 1950s.
“Maria Full of Grace” by Joshua Marston (2004). A pregnant woman from Colombia lands in New York and becomes an undocumented immigrant.
“Hermanas” (“Sisters”) by Julia Solomonoff (2005). Two Argentine sisters reunite in Texas and relive traumatic family memories of the military dictatorship they fled.
“Viva Cuba” (“Long Live Cuba”) by Juan Carlos Cremata (2005). Two Cuban friends run away from home when they discover that they will be separated when one of their families migrates to the U.S.
“The Lost City” by Andy Garcia (2005). A family is divided by the Cuban revolution, leading one brother to join the revolution and the other to flee to the U.S.
“Walkout” by Edward James Olmos (2006). The true story of the 1968 East Los Angeles high school walkouts.
“Under the Same Moon” by Patricia Riggen (2007). A Mexican boy’s journey across the border to reunite with his mother in Los Angeles.
“Nothing Like the Holidays” by Alfredo De Villa (2008). A Puerto Rican extended family gets together for the holidays.
“Down for Life” by Alan Jacobs (2009). The movie follows a day in the life of a Latina high school student as she struggles to make it to college.
“Don’t Let Me Drown” by Cruz Angeles (2009). The love story of two Latino teenagers in New York in the aftermath of 9/11.
“Gun Hill Road” by Rashaad Ernesto Green (2011). A father recently released from jail comes to terms with his trans daughter’s coming out.“A Better Life” by Christopher Weitz (2011). An undocumented Mexican worker in Los Angeles searches for his stolen truck alongside his son.