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.
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
identity. —Shari Frilot

Screening Details

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