Salón México is a 1949 Mexican film noir directed by Emilio Fernández and co-written by Fernandez and Mauricio Magdaleno. It stars Marga López as a dance hall prostitute struggling to support her younger sister at an exclusive upscale school. It earned Lopez the 1950 Ariel Award for Best Actress and a nomination for the Ariel Award for Best Supporting Actor for Rodolfo Acosta.
The film is cited as a classic example of the Mexican genre of Cabaretera (Dance Hall film) about "a sympathetic character, a good woman forced into a bad life by circumstances beyond her control." It was remade as a 1996 film of the same title starring María Rojo.
Salt of the Earth
At New Mexico's Empire Zinc mine, Mexican-American workers protest the unsafe work conditions and unequal wages compared to their Anglo counterparts. Ramon Quintero (Juan Chacon) helps organize the strike, but he is shown to be a hypocrite by treating his pregnant wife, Esperanza (Rosaura Revueltas), with a similar unfairness. When an injunction stops the men from protesting, however, the gender roles are reversed, and women find themselves on the picket lines while the men stay at home.
All God's Children
An unpopular court decision by town Judge Parker Denison (Richard Widmark) to bus select black students to white schools threatens to tear the community apart when two teens -- one who is black, the other who is white -- steal and wreck a school bus in protest. Sadly, only one of the teens survives the brutal accident; the other runs off and goes into hiding. Tensions mount as anxious family members await the results of the autopsy identifying the body.
Bless Me, Ultima
Based on Ms. Cardona's most favorite book, "Bless Me, Ultima" is a classic must see. I love la curandera, Ultima. The story involves a young boy in a New Mexico town at the end of World War II. With his brothers off to war, his parents invite an elderly relative named Ultima to come and live with them. She possesses magical powers — black powers, say some, who call her a witch. The old woman takes young Antonio under her care.
In the Time of the Butterflies
Based on the book by Julia Alvarez, this fact-based drama tells the story of a woman who, along with her family, found the courage to defy a corrupt dictator -- and paid a fearful price for their actions. Minerva Mirabal (Salma Hayek) and her sisters Patria (Lumi Cavazos), Mate (Mia Maestro), and Dede (Pilar Padilla) are the daughters of Enrique (Fernando Becerril), a man who owns a plantation and a small store in the Dominican Republic during the rule of the despotic Rafael LeónidasTrujillo (Edward James Olmos). When several members of her family are killed by Trujillo's forces, Minerva pledges that she will some day win revenge against the dictator, though when the leader first encounters Minerva, it's after she helps foil a friend's poorly planned assassination attempt. After completing her schooling, Minerva meets Virgilio Morales (Marc Anthony), a professor of law at a state university who also works with an underground rebel group attempting to overthrow Trujillo. The two fall in love, and Virgilio helps to open Minerva's eyes to the extent of Trujillo's crimes; when Virgilio is forced to go underground as a result of his actions against Trujillo, Minerva pledges to follow his example and become a lawyer. However, Trujillo's head has been turned by the lovely Minerva, and the more he learns about her, the more he wants to seduce her, hoping to crush her fiery spirit. In time, Minerva attends law school, hoping to challenge the system from within, but upon graduation she discovers Trujillo has been keeping tabs on her actions and isn't about to allow her to practice law; an outraged Minerva vows to fight the corrupt dictator by any means necessary.
I Know Why The Caged