I took at Latin American film studies class in the fall 2013 semester at the University of South Carolina. It was a very interesting course, which covered the film industry in Latin America. One of the points made during the class was that there were not really a lot of Latin American representation in Hollywood. This included: actors, actress, movies, etc.
I'm taking an introduction into Latin American history this semester, spring 2014, and I'm a little surprised that Hollywood hasn't dipped into this treasure trove of film ideas. Today, in particular, we were covering the independence of Cuba and, my gosh, there's a movie trilogy there, maybe even more. It took three wars for Cuba to gain it's independence: The Ten Years War (1868-1878); Guerra Chiquita (1879-1880); and the Final War (1895-1898).
Jesus Perez a vigilante who returned runaway slaves attempting to join the independence army to plantation owners, who himself later joined the independence army, is one protagonist for a movie idea in the Ten Years War.
Another protagonist would be Antoni Maceo who was a free Afro-Cuban who joined the army as a soldier and quickly rose to the rank of General. He fought all the way through the first Treaty of Zanjon (1878).
The Guerra Chiquita or Small War is set on a plantation in East Cuba named La Esperanza, which translates, ironically, to "hope." This War involved a slave revolt, where the slaves demanded the dismissal of an overseer. The army was called in and was unable to subdue the slaves initially, as they remained defiant to the army Colonel Aguillera.
Then there's the Final War, which saw the return of Antonia Maceo. This time around the independence army had much greater support from the Cuban population.
I would love to go into much greater detail about the synopsis for these films, and maybe I will in the future. Today wasn't the first time I've thought about a piece of Latin American history as a movie idea. The history of Latin America is plentiful with movie ideas and I'm a little surprised that more movies haven't come out on the topic.