Lawmakers want 25 Latino-focused movies added to film registry
© Bonnie Cash

Lawmakers from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) requested the Library of Congress consider 25 Latino-focused movies to add to the National Film Registry.

CHC Chairman Rep. Raul RuizRaul RuizHouse GOP campaign arm adds to target list Hispanic Caucus energized by first Biden meeting Biden urged to appoint Latina prosecutor working on Floyd case as US attorney MORE (D-Calif.) and caucus member Rep. Joaquin CastroJoaquin CastroDemocrats ask Biden to reverse employee policy on past marijuana use The Hill's Morning Report - Biden's next act: Massive infrastructure plan with tax hikes Blinken to appear before Foreign Affairs Committee MORE (D-Texas) sent a letter to the Film Preservation Board at the Library of Congress last week asking for its members to consider the list of movies.

The movies, spanning 1982 to 2011, includes films such as “Spy Kids,” which centers around a Latino family, and “Frida,” an award-winning movie about artist Frida Kahlo. They also cover several nationalities, including Mexican, Puerto Rican, Dominican, Cuban, Colombian, Argentine, Salvadoran and Nicaraguan.

ADVERTISEMENT

In the letter, the lawmakers assert that Latinos are “dramatically underrepresented” in Hollywood, “contributing to the misperceptions and stereotypes about Latinos in our society.”

“In effect, when we cannot tell our stories, others will tell stories about us,” the letter reads. “We believe this is a significant factor motivating ongoing anti-Latino sentiment in American society, one which negatively impacts Latinos in all aspects of society, from immigration law to the education system to the current public health crisis.”

The movies submitted for the registry were chosen based on feedback from constituents and advocacy groups. 

Castro, a former chair of the CHC, previously called for the 1997 movie “Selena” to be included in the film registry.

The registry created by Congress in 1988 adds 25 films, usually every December, to showcase "the range and diversity of America's film heritage," Library of Congress spokesperson Brett Zongker said in a statement to The Hill.

“The Library of Congress is grateful for the nominations from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and for their interest in the National Film Registry,” Zongker said.

ADVERTISEMENT

Currently, out of 800 films in the registry, at least 17 can be classified as Latino stories. Eleven Latino directors have had their movies included in the registry, according to The New York Times.

Even though Latinos make up 18.5 percent of the U.S. population, a study from the University of Southern California’s School for Communication determined that 4.5 percent of all speaking characters in the top 1,200 grossing films between 2007 and 2018 were Latino.

--Updated at 1:59 p.m.