Out of sheer boredom I started to think of my favorite moments from Chicano films – there are many. This took me on a trip down memory lane. This also took a lot longer than I expected and was a lot more difficult than I imagined. One, because the number of films is limited and many of the actors are the same, but also because there’s too many moments in the few films to choose from to squeeze into a list of just 10. Everyone has their own favorites, these are some of mine.
This is not meant to be an all encompassing list as I’m sure I’ve forgotten some and overlooked others. There are many moments in mainstream films that feature a Chicano actor that could have been included as well.
Without going into a huge dissertation about the finer points of Chicano film (and I could if I tried), for me, many of these scenes and characters resonate because we see ourselves and our experiences in them. It is related to the experience of why I started publishing books to begin with – I wanted to see myself and those like me, on a bookshelf – because, sadly, that experience is so rare. It is the same in film. Don’t believe the Hollywood “woke” hype – we are still invisible in Hollywierd.
When you see yourself reflected on the big screen it makes an impression on you – at least it did me. I don’t think that is as prevalent in other cultures because it is such a rarity in Chicano film, and when it’s done right, a treasure.
As one of my readers pointed out:
“It was more interesting, for me, to see what I was living portrayed on screen, because I wasn’t really seeing anything like how I lived/talked on a movie screen.” – Voodoodrew78
Note: These are personal choices that were either striking, memorable or related to my own personal experiences as a Chicano. As always, opinions will vary so I don’t expect people to agree with all or any of my choices. I included a brief (Ha!) reason why I chose the scene underneath the clip.
I also included some runners up and responses from my Instagram post asking people what their favorite moments were – they’re at the bottom. Feel free to leave your choices/thoughts as well in the comments.