Habla Texas, directed by Alberto Ferreras, is a warm path to the hearts of Southern Latinos. The documentary, filmed beneath bright, beaming lights, and a paper-white background showcases a vibrant and captivating cast who tell their story “cocktail party” style. The presentation of each individual is genuine and personal, definitely giving the viewing a Latino house-hold feel.
The film is organized in various different topics, with one character telling their touching or hilarious stories one at a time. The topics range from tortilla to identity, as well as our Latin thirst for passion and aspirations, to our relationships with our family and our road to self discovery. Some stories filled the audience with on-going laughter, and some struck a powerful chord in our hearts, but most importantly, all stories were relate-able and kept the audience engaged. Above all things, Habla Texas truly highlighted that we are all human, sharing experiences of joy and sharing experiences of suffering. The connection between the Latinos and the rest of humanity is well represented, and it certainly highlights the culture’s special quirks, such as family affection, and the fact that we are not all from the same country.
Considering how the producers of HBO Latino’s Habla brought the series to Texas, this documentary hit rather close to home. Though, the documentary was refreshing, and the cast was composed of lovable and hilarious people, being a Texas native and 1st generation Latin-American, I feel as though there was a large percentage of the Texan-Latino community not well represented. All characters were attractive, well-established individuals discussing their struggles in the past. However, current issues in our society were not discussed. A major issue impacting Texas are the gang wars happening along the border, and our children’s struggle for college education. Little was said of the migrant workers, or educational opportunities for Latino students at a University level, such as the C.A.M.P program for the children of migrant workers provided by St. Edward’s University. Of course, Habla Texas is supposed to represent the joys of being a Latino– the laughs we share and our quirks that bring us together– however, there is more culture that should have been represented. With the amount of people that HBO Latino has the opportunity to reach, touching on more serious and influential cultural issues would be a significant way to utilize their outreach. However, you can’t really hold their light-hearted and funny approach against the production of the film, because that is the original nature of the series.
Watch the trailer below:
This film was reviewed at the Cine Las Americas International Film Festival. Cine Las Americas is a multi-cultural, 501(c)3 non-profit organization based in Austin Texas. The mission of Cine Las Americas is to promote cross-cultural understanding and growth by educating, entertaining and challenging diverse audiences through film and media arts.