K-12 Films ( M-Z )

*      – indicates films that are appropriate for primary schools K-6.

**    – indicates films that are appropriate for secondary schools.

***  – indicates films that are appropriate for primary and secondary schools

 

MACARIO**
Description: The talents of top director Roberto Gavaldon, novelist B. Traven (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre) and cinematographer Gabriel Figueroa combined to produce this gentle, moving fable on human morality. Macario is a young peasant, despondent over his inability to provide for his family. On the Day of the Dead, he meets Death, disguised as another peasant, who trades him the power to cure the dying for a portion of turkey. Macario’s fame spreads around the country, and he soon has a flourishing business until a local doctor decides to call in the Inquisition.
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English
Length: 91 minutes

 

MADRES DE LA PLAZA DE MAYO, LAS**
Description: This Academy award-nominated documentary about the Argentinean mothers’ movement to demand to know the fate of 30,000 “disappeared” sons and daughters is extraordinary. As well as giving an understanding of Argentinean history in the 70’s and 80’s, it shows the empowerment of women in a society where they are expected to be silent.
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English

Length: 64 minutes

MARIA LLENA DE GRACIA**
Description: Maria Alvarez, a bright, spirited 17-year-old Colombian is desperate to leave her job stripping thorns from flowers.  Maria accepts a lucrative offer to transport packets of heroin – which she must swallow – to the United States.  The ruthless world of international drug trafficking proves to be more than Maria bargained for.  This dramatic thriller builds toward a conclusion so powerful and revealing it could only be based on a thousand true stories.
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English
Length: 25 minutes

 

MAYAN VOICES: AMERICAN LIVES**
Description: Set in Indiantown, Florida, a small, agricultural town 30 miles west of West Palm Beach, this film illustrates the challenges of a totally alien environment, exploring issues of identity, cultural integration, migration, and social change. It also demonstrated the impact 5,000 new immigrants with a foreign language and culture is having on the still predominantly white community.
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English
Length: 56 minutes

 

MEMORIAS DE UN MEXICANO**
Description: The pioneer film maker Salvador Toscano portrayed the key events and figures of the Mexican Revolution from 1904 to 1924. Capturing the flavor and reality of war-torn Mexico, the film presents the political and military upheaval that shaped present day Mexico using exclusive, authentic footage. It also describes the women’s role in Mexico during this period.
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English
Length: 50 minutes

 

MEXICAN PREHISPANIC CULTURES* **
Description: This film takes a look at the cultural wealth of prehispanic Mexico: the civilizations of the Toltecs, the Aztecs, the Mayas, and their legacies are explored. Intended for younger audiences. An Educational Video Network film.
Language: English
Subtitles: None
Length: 26 minutes

 

MEXICO FOR CHILDREN*
Description: Children’s three volume set about the culture, geography and history of Mexico.
Volume 1- The Culture of Mexico
This volume focuses on the rich cultural heritage of Mexico and how it affects the daily lives of its citizens.  Students will find that Mexico’s indigenous people and Spanish rule have influenced the ceremonial dress, folktales, foods and holidays of Mexico.  Explored topics include the music of Tejano bands, the artwork of Diego Rivera and Talavera pottery from Puebla.
Volume 2– The Geography of Mexico
This volume focuses on how Mexico’s geography has shaped its history, society and culture.  Travel through a variety of land formations and regions from the desert in Sonora to the lush rainforests of Chiapas, and see how location and climate have impacted the settlement patterns and lifestyles of Mexicans.  Learn about the major industries like silver mining and tourism, and appreciate the exceptionality and diversity of the Gulf Coast region’s animal and plant life.
Volume 3– The History of Mexico
This volume focuses on the obstacles that Mexico has overcome throughout history to become an independent, self-governing nation.  Explore history topics from the time of the Olmec through the time of independence fights as well as other more contemporary events. Understand the Father Hidalgo and Benito Juarez, and see why freedom has been so important to this proud nation.
Language: English
Subtitles: None
Length: 24 minutes each

 

MIAMI-HAVANA**
Description: This documentary depicts the story of the two Cuban worlds of Miami and Havana, and the social, cultural, and political processes that have created this divide since 1959. It provides many touching moments that portray the difficulties of this fragmentation, as well as the ideological struggles in both communities. This film provides an excellent point of departure for considering the Cuban Revolution, migration, and communities of exile. Produced by the Institute for Policy Studies, USA
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English
Length: 52 minutes

 

MISSING**
Description: John Shea, Sissy Spacek, and Jack Lemmon. A young American journalist mysteriously disappears during the violent 1973 military coup in Chile. When his wife and father attempt to find him, they are confronted with a deeply disturbing political reality relating to their own country and the country they are investigating. A 1982 Cannes Film Festival winner.
Language: English
Subtitles: None
Length: 122 minutes

 

MUERTE DE UN BUROCRATA**
Description: The story of a young man’s attempt to fight the system is an entertaining, hilarious account of galloping bureaucracy and the tyranny of red tape.
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English
Length: 87 minutes

 

MUSIC OF THE MAYA**
Description: Produced by Samuel Franco, director of the Casa K’OJM, a private non-profit educational research center in Antigua, Guatemala dedicated to the preservation of Maya culture through music this video shows us live footage of music during daily life and special ceremonies throughout Guatemala, particularly in the Highlands. Narrated by Samuel Franco.
Language: English
Subtitles: None
Length: 25 minutes

 

MY FILMMAKING, MY LIFE**
Description: An intriguing documentary on the life of the renowned and vibrant filmmaker. Landeta is seen in her 70’s remembering her productive years. Includes interview with filmmaker Marcela Fernandez Violante.
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English
Length: 30 minutes

 

NATIVES: IMMIGRANT BASHING ON THE BORDER**
Description: This film depicts the disturbing increase in racism, violence and intolerance along the US-Mexican border in recent years. Natives examine the concerns of some of the individuals involved in San Diego’s anti-immigrant movement. Relying principally on a cinema vérité style and avoiding explanatory narration, the film seeks to critique the nativist position by contrasting their professed love for their country with their racist and anti-democratic attitudes.
Language: English
Subtitles: None
Length: 25 minutes

 

NEW AUDIENCES FOR MEXICAN MUSIC**
Description: A three-part documentary. Part I describes the phenomenon of banda dance music sweeping the Unites States and Mexico. Part II provides a history of mariachi music and its fusions with country-western and other styles, while Part III profiles Tejano music.
Language: English
Subtitles: None
Length: 30 minutes

 

NIÑOS DE ZAPATA**
Description: Children of Zapata looks at the Zapatista National Liberation Army’s struggle to attain justice for the Maya Indians of Chiapas. These last remaining descendants of the proud ancient Mayas have been ruthlessly marginalized by the Mexican government. Their land is the least arable, they live in grinding poverty, and they are jailed and tortured for asserting their rights. The film highlights their struggle during the revolt of January 1994 staged by the Zapatista guerrillas. It also includes footage of the controversial “Red Bishop” of Chiapas, Samuel Ruiz; the elusive subcommandante Marcos, leader of the Zapatista and Armado Avandanio of El Tiempo, the Independent Mexican newspaper.
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: None

Length: 24 minutes

 

NO NOS TIENTES**
Description: This film, narrated by Edward James Olmos, presents a forceful analysis of the possibilities for radical change through Guatemalan student protest. Shot in urban ghettos, rural villages and jungle encampments, this documentary reveals the immediate and personal struggle of a cross-section of the country’s population during the forty years of civil war. Recommended for undergraduates and high school students.
Language: English
Subtitles: None
Length: 50 minutes

NORTE, EL**
Description: Mayan Indian peasants organize in an effort to improve their lot in life. After the army destroys their village and kills their family, a teenage brother and sister decide they must flee to “El Norte”. After receiving clandestine help from friends and humorous advice from a veteran immigrant on strategies for traveling through Mexico, they arrive in Los Angeles, where they try to make a new life as young, uneducated, and illegal immigrants.
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English
Length: 139 minutes

 

OAXACA**
Description: The video collection that takes you on a trip to Oaxaca to see the sites of the immensely beautiful country of Mexico.
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: None
Length: 60 minutes

 

ODO YA! LIFE WITH AIDS**
Description: A poetic documentary exploration of efforts by members of the Afro-Brazilian communities in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Salvador, Bahia, Brazil to combat the spread of AIDS by drawing from their own cultural and religious traditions.
Language: Portuguese
Subtitles: English
Length: 60 minutes

 

OFRENDA, LA: THE DAYS OF THE DEAD I, II* **
Description: Made by Lourdes Portillo and Susana Muñoz. The very young, the old, and the deceased are all represented in this personal and affectionate filmmaker’s relationship to the history, and present-day celebrations of the Day of the Dead.
Language: English
Subtitles: None
Length: 50 minutes

 

LOS OLVIDADOS**
Description: This epic Buñuel film looks at the life of young people growing up in the slums of Mexico. In many big cities, behind the large buildings are areas of complete misery. Children are malnourished, there are no schools, sanitation is not up to par and delinquents abound.
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English
Length: 90 minutes

 

ON THE CASE OF ROSALIE EVANS**
Description: A historical discussion among North American and Mexican historians about the diary and life of Rosalie Evans, a disgruntled North American property owner who lost her land during the Mexican Revolution
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English
Length: 60 minutes

 

PANAMA DECEPTION**
Description: Banned in Panama and labeled “subversive” in the United States, The Panama Deception gives an account of the events of 1989 when 26,000 U.S. government troops invaded the country searching for one man, Manuel Noriega. Made by a group of independent filmmakers, the film documents the atrocities that the official story omits.
Language: English
Subtitles: None
Length: 91 minutes

 

PASADO VERDE 1850-1915**
Description: The story of the Henequen plant and its practical uses, including fiber for clothing.  The documentary begins with the incidental discovery of the Henequen and moves forward in time to the development of factories for mass production of fiber.
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: None
Length: 30 minutes

 

POPOL VUH* **
Description: The Popol Vuh, the religious book of the Maya, is the oldest existing poem in an American Indian language. It stands as an extraordinary monument to the accomplishments of the Maya and their ethical, spiritual, and philosophical beliefs. This animated version begins with the account of the gods’ several creations and destructions of the world, tracing the cosmological beginnings to the awakening of the Maya civilization.
Language: Spanish and English
Subtitles: None
Length: 58 minutes

 

PROYECTO VIDEOASTAS INDIGENAS DE LA FRONTERA SUR**
Description: Compilation of the film work of various indigenous filmmakers from southern border of Mexico.  It includes 5 short documentaries in the following order:
1. “Te xa wuil a va:” Que tengas el poder de mirarte a ti mismo.  Linda Lothe, Cecilia Monroy Cuevas y roberto Chankin Ortega.

(10 minutes, Spanish)
2. K’in santo ta sotz’oleb. Dia de muertos en la tierra de los murcielagos.  Pedro Daniel Lopez Lopez.

(33 minutes, Tzotzil with Spanish subtitles)
3. Squ’inal Ixim.  Fiesta del Maiz: El Tercer Encuentro del Maiz Maya-Zoque.  Jose Angel Lopez Dominguez and Roberto Alejandro Corzo Leon.

(16 minutes,  Spanish)
4. Mas de mil años despues…..   Pablo Chankin Najbor, Axel kohler and Tim Trench.

(19 minutes, Lacandon Mayan with Spanish subtitles)
5. La tierra es de quien la trabaja.  “Keremetik” busca autnomia. Pedro Daniel Lopez and Jose Miguel Hernandez

(10 minutes. Spanish)

Language: Various indigenous languages and Spanish
Subtitles: Spanish

 

QUE VIVA MEXICO!* *
Description: Sergei Eisenstein’s lost masterpiece documents the history of Mexico and its people. With sequences devoted to the Edenic land of Tehuantepec, the savage majesty of the bullfight, the struggles of the noble peon and the hypnotic imagery of the Day of the Dead “Qué viva México!” is a vivid tapestry of Mexican life. The film was shot on location in Mexico by Edouard Tisse and financed by American novelist Upton Sinclair. It was later reassembled and restored by Grigory Alexandrov.
Language: Russian
Subtitles: English
Length: 85 minutes

 

QUINCEAÑERA, LA* **
Description: This two-part video depicts a young Mexican-American woman’s fifteenth birthday celebration. Set in Dallas, Texas and Reynosa, Mexico, the first part consists of a discussion of the preparations, planning, and logistics that have to be considered in planning this important social event. The second part observes the actual ceremony through various stages after the preparations are completed for the mass, the party, and the dance that traditionally follow.
Language: English and Spanish
Subtitles: None
Length: Part 1: 18 minutes, Part 2: 20 minutes

 

LA REVOLUCIÓN NO SERA TELEVISADA (THE REVOLUTION WILL NOT BE TELEVISED) **
Description: This daring documentary about political muscle and media manipulation captures the short-lived overthrow of Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez. Two independent filmmakers were present in April 2002, when the president’s powerful political enemies forcibly removed him from office, and when 48 hours later he remarkably returned to power amid cheering aides.
Language: Spanish
Subtitles: English
Length: 74 minutes

 

RITES OF THE DAY OF THE DEAD**
Description: Every November the Mexican people clean and decorate the graves of their loved ones, set beautiful tables or altars in which they place offerings so the visiting dead enjoy them. Experience these and other ancestral rituals of the Day of the Dead.
Language: English
Subtitles: None
Length: 20 minutes

 

RIVERA: PORTRAIT OF AN ARTIST**
Description: “An artist must be the conscience of his age.” In this way Diego Rivera, a leader of the Mexican mural renaissance movement of the 1920’s and 1030’s expressed the philosophy behind his work; in particular the spectacular series of murals he created for public buildings in the US and Mexico. The program explores Rivera’s evolution as an artist, his use of the fresco technique, and his politics, creating a fascinating portrait of one of the geniuses of the 20th century.
Language: English
Subtitles: None
Length: 35 minutes

 

ROMERO**
Description: Incisive, quietly powerful drama chronicling the last three years of the life of Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador. The focus is on the way in which he becomes an outspoken defender of human rights and is eventually assassinated.
Language: English
Subtitles: None
Length: 102 minutes

 

SAASTAL: THE CHILDREN OF THE SACRED GRACE* **
Description: Alicia returns to the pueblo where she spent her
childhood and adolescence after an absence of 15 years.  Despite the many
changes that her pueblo has undergone, she finds that everyday life remains much
the same as it was when she left.
Language: Yucatec Maya
Subtitles: English and Spanish

 

SACRED GAMES: RITUAL WARFARE**
Description: Every year in San Juan Chamula, Chiapas, in Southern Mexico, thousands of Maya Indians gather to celebrate Carnival, which they call “Festival of Games”. This award winning film, which merges Catholicism and ancient Maya rights, beautifully captures the passion and mystery of the event and shows how Maya’s symbolic world is renewed each year in the celebrations.
Language: English
Subtitles: None
Length: 59 minutes

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