Hispanic lawmakers push to add ‘Selena’ to National Film Registry

Photo: Warner Bros.

“Latinos have been left out of the representation of American culture,” says U.S. Rep.Joaquin Castro, who hopes the effort will correct their depiction.

Mexican American filmmaker Gregory Nava’s 1997 movieSelenahas been nominated for inclusion in the National Film Registry by members of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus as the group ramps up its efforts to eradicate “the film industry’s continued exclusion of Latinos,” said Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, in a letter to Librarian of CongressDr. Carla Hayden.

Full text of the letter follows and can be found here.

“Selena is an American icon and she’s so celebrated within the Latino community,” Castro, who is also the chairman of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, told NBC News. “I think part of the affirmation of that was, not only the success of the film but also the recent success of the television series.”

The film starringJennifer Lopezdepicts the life, remarkable rise, and tragic death of Tejano music legendSelena Quintanilla. The film also touches on important themes of cultural identity and assimilation faced by Mexican American communities as they navigate their personal connections between two cultures and languages.

“Given its importance as a work of Latino cinema, we believe it is deserving of preservation at the Library of Congress,” Castro’s letter to Hayden reads. “We trust you will give Selena careful consideration, and hope to see it included in the titles added to the National Film Registry in 2021.”

“For too long U. S. Latinx filmmakers’ contribution to the film industry has been overlooked and underrepresented,” said Gregory Nava, the film’s director. “Our community is important and growing and our stories need to be told. I applaud the Congressional Hispanic Caucus’ efforts to bring attention to this and to honor the accomplishments of Latinx filmmakers.” 

Any member of the public can nominate a film to the National Film Registry. To nominate a film for inclusion in the 2021 National Film Registry visit the Library of Congress’ nomination portalhere.

Read the full article at NBC News.

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