One of the best ways to enhance your Spanish language learning in through exposure. The more you are exposed to the language, the better and more quickly you can acquire that language. Watching movies isn’t only fun and entertaining, it’s also educational. Check out Boulder Spanish’s top Spanish language movie picks for you!
1. Seres queridos (2004)
Directed by Teresa Pelegrí and Dominic Harari, this “dramedy” tells the story of a Jewish-Palestinian couple in Spain. Afraid to reveal her boyfriend’s true Palestinian background, the daughter, Leni, introduces him to her family as Jewish. A complex turn of events happens as we learn more about Leni and Rafi’s relationship and the tense familial and religious structures in their lives.
2. Clara Campoamor, la mujer olvidada (2011)
This historical drama tells the story of Clara Campoamor, who was the leading suffragette of the Franco era in Spain (1930s). We follow her as she fights hard to change the writing of the Spanish Constitution to include women and ensure equality between the genders. This movie is based entirely on a true story and real events; it’s a truly inspiring movie that illuminates the situation for women in a Franco regime and the work done to fight the patriarchy and gain rights for women.
3. A mi madre le gustan las mujeres (2002)
This Spanish dramedy plays with the traditional institution of family in present day Spain as three women learn their recently divorced mother is a lesbian. Each daughter deals with it differently and we learn about their own internalized homophobia and struggles with their sexualities and their identity in the family.
4. Flores del otro mundo (1999)
Written and directed Icíar Bollaín, this Spanish movie follows three women who attend an annual mixer and party in the small, depopulated Province of Guadalajara. Because there is a lack of women in the town, the men throw this celebration to find a partner and women from all over Spain attend the party to find love, immigration papers, or economic stability. We get to see the lives of a woman from the Northern Spanish city of Bilbao, and recently undocumented immigrant from the Dominican Republic, and a young Cuban woman. This movie is full of symbolism and social commentary on racial and gender relations in modern day Spain. It’s an incredibly moving and beautiful movie that will not only help you with your Spanish but also teach you some valuable cultural lessons about Spanish and Latin cultures.
5. La misma luna (2007)
This Mexican-American drama film tells the story of a single mother, Rosario, who leaves her 9 year old son, Carlitos, to illegally immigrate to the United States. After his grandma dies, Carlitos decides to make the journey to be with her, despite being young, an immigrant, and having no money or connections. Follow this beautifully touching story to learn more about the lengths people will go to in order to reach the U.S. and their family.
6. The Motorcycle Diaries (2004)
This popular Spanish movies tells the story of the 23-year old Che Guevara, who before becoming internationally known, goes by Ernesto. He and his friend Alberto take a road trip across South America. Through this trip, they not only grow up and grow together, but become educated about on the lives of impoverished indigenous communities across South America. As the two friends learn about the social warfare in rural South America, Ernesto becomes impassioned and begins to develop his own ideas that ultimately lead to his fight against economic inequality and oppression.
7. Roma (2018)
This Academy Award and Golden Globe winning black and white film tells the story of two women, a live-in domestic maid and her boss whose husband has recently left her. We learn about women’s experiences in Mexico, how they must fight hard against violence by the patriarchy, and the ways in which women lean and depend on each other for survival.
8. Señor, dame paciencia
After the matriarch of this Spanish family dies, Gregorio, the father, and his children and their partners, come together to spread her ashes and say goodbye. Gregorio, the father of the family, is an old-fashioned Catalan man and struggles to comes to terms with his own son’s homosexuality, especially when he brings home a Sengalese boyfriend. Even more, Gregorio’s daughter is dating an anarchic hippy which Gregorio detests. Follow this family as the children try to mourn their mother’s death and avoid their father’s ever critical eye.
9. Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
Directed by the famously talented Guillermo del Toro, this dark fantasy dram film is set in Spain during World War II. A strange combination of the mystical, fantastical, and the real, Pan’s Labyrinth allows us to visit worlds of fairies and strange fictional animals in the midst of a war-stricken country.
10. También la lluvia
A Mexican filmmaker shows up in a small town in Bolivia to make a movie about the arrival of the Spaniards, Christopher Columbus in particular, to South America. While he is initially greeted warmly and the locals are happy to have them make a movie, there is a rebellion growing and some of his cast members are involved. Learn about the political climate in Bolivia and the real-life rebellions that are taking place in this masterpiece, También la lluvia.