The Latino List: Volume 1

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The Latino List: Volume 1, highlights some of today’s most accomplished and influential Latinos. They share their personal stories, struggles and triumphs as Latinos in America. The film, which follows The Black List series, also premiered on HBO.

Subjects in Volume 1 are: Sandra Cisneros, Gloria and Emilio Estefan, America Ferrera, Jose Hernandez, Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch, John Leguizamo, Eva Longoria, Senator Bob Menendez, Pitbull, Chi Chi Rodriguez, Anthony Romero, Eddie “Piolin Sotelo, Sonia Sotomayor, Julie Stav and Dr. Marta Moreno Vega.

The defining premise of The Latino List is deceptively simple – identify participants that span a broad array of fields—culture, politics, business, and sports—reveal the richness and diversity of Latino life in America. The illuminating interviews taken as a whole provide a challenging framework to help think about the meaning of race today. The revelation of the individual character in these portraits is as inspiring as the collective narrative of the Latino experience. The documentary is able to capture the inner core of the subjects and allow us to come face-to-face with a real person, not a media construction.

The Latino List poignantly paints a portrait of Latino America that is at once intimate and larger than life. The real relevance of this project, politically and socially, is that it’s not a series of “experts” talking about Latino culture, the impact of poverty, or how swell it is that these people overcame being Latino to succeed. The authenticity of personal experiences is captured and the nature of the stories keeps the flow of information from feeling too overwhelming.

The Latino List goes beyond the documentary form to become a social and political project, one that shows young Latino Americans stories they can relate to, from people they admire, in a way that, one hopes, might inspire them to reach for their own dreams, regardless of income level or family background. Many of the stories also speak to women and other minority groups; there is a certain commonality of experience that comes from being a part of any marginalized group.

As a part of a greater discourse on race issues in America, The Latino List inspires as effectively as it informs.