February can be a drag. For one thing, there’s the political circus of the presidential primaries. For another, Idlewild’s language classes don’t start again until March 7. But why not pass the time till then by watching our selection of political films in Spanish now available on Netlfix? It’ll help you kill two birds with one stone–not only will it help improve your Spanish, it will remind you that politicians everywhere are a little bit nuts.
Matthew Heineman (2015, Mexico/USA) Netflix
This Oscar-nominated documentary is a riveting up-close look at life inside the Mexican drug cartels and the bands of vigilantes who fight them. It’s filled with beautiful shots, some of which were filmed at great personal peril. Executive produced by Kathryn Bigelow, director of Zero Dark Thirty and The Hurt Locker. We recommend it for fans of Narcos and Breaking Bad who want a less glamourous, more realistic look at how the drug trade affects normal people.
Even the Rain
Icíar Bollaín (2010, Spain) Netflix
A Spanish film crew arrives in modern-day Bolivia to shoot a historical drama about Christopher Colombus’s conquest, but they discover that, politically speaking, the conquest isn’t over. Against their will, they are drawn into a real-life drama of political corruption, exploitation of native peoples, and a nefarious plot by a multi-national corporation. Has anything changed since 1492? Gael Garcia Bernal is on the case.
The Perfect Dictatorship
Luis Estrada (2014, Mexico) Netflix
A black comedy about political corruption in contemporary Mexico. After Mexico’s new president makes a racist comment to the US ambassador which goes viral, he hires a media team to distract from the scandal by creating a new scandal about hapless Governor Carmelo Vargas. No sooner do they do so, but Vargas decides he too can hire a media team to save him by creating a third scandal…perfect for those who want an even more outrageous fictional antidote to primary season.
Sins of My Father
Nicolas Entel (2009, Colombia/Argentina) Netflix
Another great documentary for Narcos fans, Sins of my Father bears witness to the incredible life journey of Pablo Escobar’s son, Juan Pablo, who was sixteen when Escobar was killed. Raised in the incredible wealth and isolation that came with being the son of the world’s richest drug dealer, Juan Pablo initially wanted to avenge his father’s death, but eventually came to repudiate his father’s deeds and seek forgiveness from the families of the murdered. Featuring astonishing interviews with both Juan Pablo and Escobar’s widow, now living in exile in Argentina.