Americanos: Latino Life In the United States

Institute History


I am an American in the widest sense of the term. A citizen of the Americas.
—Guillermo Gomez-Peña

Award-winning filmmakers Susan Todd and Andrew Young team up once again with actor/producer Edward James Olmos to create this vibrant and provocative documentary about the segment of American citizenry most rapidly transforming the face of our nation today. Latinos have become the largest, single minority group in the United States, and Americanos explores their complex and multifaceted legacy.

Weaving a rich tapestry of media images, personal stories, and artistic expression, Americanos contests the myth of a monolithic Latino culture and explores the diverse group of people in this country designated Latino. Carlos Santana, Tito Puente, and the first Puerto Rican female presidential cabinet member, Aida Alvarez, present their views alongside Nuyorican Poets Café performance artists, Little Havana doctors, midwestern lowriders, East L.A. Harvard-bound youth, and Chicano border-patrol officers. A cornucopia of truths emerges, including the highly contested nature of Latino identity, the rising power of Latinos in business, the paradoxes of United States immigration policy, and the important role diasporic communities play in preserving age-old cultural traditions while
creating new ones for the future.

The galvanizing force of this sweeping documentary is its fantastic sound track, boasting down-home casita bombas, the sensuous Afro-Cuban sounds of Santana, and the brilliantly iconoclastic musical performance of Chicano Elvis impersonator El Vez. Exploding racial stereotypes and proudly claiming a multitude of contributions to our country, Americanos is nothing less than a celebration of our American national

— Shari Frilot

Screening Details

Sundance Film Festival Awards

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