Lifelong Learning (formerly Short Courses)

Top Films in Spanish to Watch this Winter

From Barcelona to Lima, Short Courses Languages Teaching Fellow Ana Fernandez highlights some of the best Spanish speaking films to help you spruce-up your language and listening skills this season.

Spanish language TV shows and movies have become very popular in the last few years, and the list of well-liked series keeps growing.  

After 'La casa de papel' (Money Heist) became one of the most-watched TV shows oNetflix, the interest among the public increased. 'El tiempo entre costuras', based on the books of María Dueñas, or 'Élite', (a guilty pleasure for many) are also on the watch-list for show enthusiasts.  

Thanks to streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime available at our fingertips, watching Spanish series has never been easier, but it’s not the only medium that’s been creating the best of Spanish acting. 

The Spanish film industry has also caught the eye of audiences around the world. Perhaps the best example would be 'Roma'. The 2018 movie, filmed in black and white and directed by Alfonso Cuarón, shows the life of a live-in housekeeper woman in Mexico in the 70s. It won three Academy Awards, including Best Foreign Language Film. 

However, the European country isn’t the only nation to create celebrated cinema, our Latin American friends across the pond are also producing internationally acclaimed pictures. From Spain to South and Central America, here are six thought-provoking ‘películas’ in Spanish to stream this winter.    

Based on true events, not only will these films help you learn more about the political history and culture of Spain, Perú, Cuba, and Uruguay. Watching these movies is also a great way to practice your listening skills with different accents. Turn your subtitles on and enjoy! 

Short Courses Teaching Fellow Ana Fernandez

'La noche de 12 años' (A Twelve-Year Night)

This movie tells the story of José Mujica, who years later would become the president of Uruguay. The 2008 film focuses on the 12 years he spent in solitary confinement and documents Mujica and other political prisoners’ fight for survival during the military dictatorship in the ‘70s.

Watch it Here


'100 metros' (100 Metres)

 When a Spanish young man is diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and is told he won't be able to walk after a year, he decides to challenge himself. This 2016 inspiring story narrates how he overcame the odds against him and trained to be part of the Ironman Triathlon.  

Watch it here


'Yuli -The Carlos Acosta Story'

This biopic from 2018 shines light on the life of acclaimed Cuban ballet dancer Carlos Acosta. Acosta (or Yuli as his father called him) left La Havana to become the first black dancer to be cast in leading roles at prestigious ballet companies, including London’s Royal Ballet. 

Watch it here


'El hombre de las mil caras' (Smoke and Mirrors)

This movie from 2016 is centred around Francisco Paesa, a former agent of the Spanish secret service, a businessman, and a swindler. After the General Director of the Guardia Civil contacted him to help him save the millions he embezzled, Paesa tries to find a way to keep the money for himself. 

Watch it here


'La trinchera infinita' (The Endless Trench)

This 2019 flick highlights the prolonged struggle of Higinio Blanco, a republican local government official, fearing for his life as he hides in his own home during the Spanish civil war. With the help of his wife, Rosa, the man stays hidden for 30 years of the Franco dictatorship. 

 Watch it here


'La hora final' (The Last Hour)

Set in Peru, this 2017 thriller tells the tale of two detectives investigating the Communist party and guerilla group 'Sendero Luminoso' (Shining Path). The detectives try to find Abimael Guzman, the leader of the organisation. A great movie to learn about the political and social situation of Peru in the early ’90s. 

 Watch it here


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