We’re in the middle of Hispanic Heritage Month — the annual celebration of the heritage and culture of Hispanic and Latino/a Americans that takes place from September 15-October 15. Indiewire’s latest curation of Hulu’s Documentaries page draws from this rich background, offering documentaries that explore issues and stories relevant to the U.S., Mexico, Latin America and the Spanish-speaking countries of South America and the Caribbean.
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Set in San Diego’s Barrio Logan, Mike Todd’s “Under the Bridge: The Story of Chicano Park” tells the story of Mexican-Americans bonding together in 1970 to enact social change. Exploring the marginalization of indigenous Chicano rights, the film reframes the immigration debate in a provocative way.
Immigration is the hot button issue at the core of Jeremy Levine and Landon Van Soest’s “Walking the Line.” The film explores both sides of that line — the U.S./Mexico border — by profiling overzealous vigilantes that are willing to use force to keep people out and the migrants who risk their very lives in search of better economic opportunities in El Norte. Other docs in this collection that look at the realities behind the immigration debate include “The Least of These,” “Which Way Home,” and “Mojados: Through the Night.”
Looking to the south, Matthew O’Neill’s “Venezuela: Revolution in Progress” offers a look at the complicated history of U.S. foreign policy in South America. The film explores the 2004 recall election of Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez, whose election in 1998 marked growing tension between the U.S. and Venezuela and led to the growth of anti-Chavez opposition groups funded by the U.S. government.
Arturo Perez Torres’ “Super Amigos” looks at problems in Mexico and the efforts of a group of individuals to combat them — by becoming superheroes. Adopting lucha libre Mexican wrestling garb, five men patrol the streets of Mexico City united against a variety of societal ills.
On the lighter and more hopeful side, Luke Boughen, Rebekah Fergusson, Gwendolyn Oxenham and Ryan White’s “Pelada” explores the love of soccer across twenty-five countries and how it can bring diverse peoples together. Boughen and Oxenham, former collegiate players, play pick-up games around the world, exploring the lives of a wide range of players in the process — from Bolivian prisoners to hijab-clad Iranian women athletes. Other sports docs in this collection include “In the Hands of the Gods” and “Road to the Big Leagues.”
EDITOR’S NOTE: “Indiewire @ Hulu Docs” is a regular column spotlighting the IW-curated selections on Hulu’s Documentaries page, a unique collaboration between the two sites. Be sure to check out the great nonfiction projects available to watch free of charge. Disclosure: Some of the selections are titles provided to Hulu by SnagFilms, the parent company of Indiewire.
ABOUT THE WRITER: Basil Tsiokos is a Programming Associate, Documentary Features for Sundance, Shorts & Panel Programmer for DOC NYC and a consultant to documentary filmmakers and festivals. Follow him on Twitter (@1basil1) and visit his blog (what (not) to doc).
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