Top 8 Films of 2011

We asked our staff to name the films they enjoyed watching this year that feature sexual and reproductive health and rights in Latin America, North America, and the Caribbean. The following are their responses:

La Otra Familia

Jean Paul and Chema are a gay couple [in Mexico] that has been together for ten years. One can see their relationship is solid, proved to be real, as they decide to get married. In a macho dominated society the union between two men is a rarity that came to be legal only recently. It is clear these two men are in love and have decided to make a commitment that speaks loudly than words. (Source: IMDB)

 

No Woman, No Cry

In her gripping directorial debut, Christy Turlington Burns shares the powerful stories of at-risk pregnant women in four parts of the world, including a remote Maasai tribe in Tanzania, a slum of Bangladesh, a post-abortion care ward in Guatemala, and a prenatal clinic in the United States. (Source: Every Mother Counts)

 

Right to Life Guatemala

Today, illegal abortions are the leading cause of death among young women in Latin America. Whether they are performed in major cities or in the isolated countryside, these 'back room' abortions are leaving thousands of young women dead each year. Guatemala has the highest fertility rate among women and yet it remains the poorest country in the region where women can ill afford large families. Unwanted pregnancies, coupled with the forces of tradition and politics, leave few options for these families. Through the work of an activist and the medical team she leads, this film explores the questions of family planning, which many see as the right to life. (Source: Al Jazeera)

 

Contracorriente (Undertow)

In a tiny Peruvian seaside village, where traditions run deep, Miguel, a young fisherman, and his beautiful bride, Mariela, are about to welcome their first child. But Miguel harbors a secret: He's in love with Santiago, a painter, who is ostracized by the town because he's gay. After a tragic accident occurs, Miguel must choose between sentencing Santiago to eternal torment or doing right by him and, in turn, revealing their relationship to Mariela—and the entire village. (Source: Sundance)

 

Innocence Abandoned: Street Kids of Haiti

This extraordinary human saga that spans 10 years starts with the story of a young man named Wilner St. Fort and his fellow street kids growing up in Port-Au-Prince. Their fight for survival takes us on a harrowing journey into a landscape filled with violence, death, and constant peril. Their shocking story is heart-wrenching, full of moral dilemmas, and has explosive revelations that will stun the world, even in the midst of the recent historical earthquake that had devastated their country. Wilner and his fellow street kids hope for the future -- to build and run their own orphanage and protect and raise their fellow young street kids from poverty and ever-present evils that are set out to destroy them. (Source: Leapfrog Productions)

 

How Do You Tell Somebody That You’re HIV+?

This moving film follows a day in the life of a young African American woman named Haneefa as she journeys to refill her AIDS medication. In very candid moments,she voices her fear in disclosing her HIV status to the father of her child. (Source: Hima B.)

 

TRUST: Second Acts in Young Lives

Set in the Albany Park Theater Project (APTP) in Chicago, the real-life story revolves around Marlin, an 18-year old Honduran immigrant. When the troupe first assembles in a circle to share stories and build trust, she tells a harsh shocker that leaves some in tears — “When you pray to God, you’re supposed to get what you want. She didn’t.” The troupe decides to stage her story “Remembering Nellie”, and what follows is a riveting look at the process of discovering empathy and kinship as the play moves from an embryo to a full-formed production, eventually opening before a full house. (Source: Stark Insider)

 

The Latino List

HBO presents a unique glimpse into the vibrant and burgeoning culture of Hispanic America through a series of highly personal video portraits of Latinos who have richly contributed to the fabric of contemporary society. Funny, poignant and irreverent, The Latino List illuminates the Latino experience today, at a time when the Latino population in the U.S. is booming. (Source: HBO)

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