In a blog entry at Boston.com, Francie Latour reviews The Latino List, a new HBO documentary that explores what it means to be Latino at a time when anti-immigration sentiment is sweeping across the country and is a rallying call for the Tea Party.
The backdrops are gray and monochrome. But the stories, told one by one before a single camera, are deeply personal. Together, they form a living portrait of success and survival, complexions and complex identity that could only be one story. That's the American story.
The "Latino List," an HBO documentary that explores what it means to be Latino in the 21st century, premieres on Thursday. And at a time of ear-piercing fervor over immigration — when "anchor baby" paranoia continues to rile up the Tea Party masses and a hard-line conservative like Gov. Rick Perry can get clobbered over in-state tuition — the resonance of this documentary may run even deeper than HBO's stellar first effort, "The Black List," which used the same stark backdrop and intense intimacy to create snapshot mosaics of the African-American experience, from former Secretary of State Colin Powell to tennis star Serena Williams to Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash.
"The very same week that we started shooting the movie, SB 1070 passed into law in Arizona," said executive producer Ingrid Duran, a co-founder of the DC-based philanthropic consulting firm D&P Creative Strategies and former head of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute. "There was a lot of anti-immigrant and anti-Latino sentiment that was working its way around the country. So for us, it became even more important to tell the positive stories, to talk about how much we've contributed to the fabric of America's story."
Read Francie Latour's entire blog entry at Boston.com.