12 Subversive Films in Spanish You Can Check From La Phoenikera’s Central Library

Sometimes the word subversive carries a negative connotation imposed by an established order. It says that if you have dissident ideas, your are part of The Red Menace, a commie, a trotskyist, an anarchist. As if any of these denominatives were the most profane insults spawn from the depths of ignorance.

Subvert is the act of inverting, overthrowing and weakening imposed old systems, especially when they don’t work equitably for everyone.

Hence –as my academia friends would put it–, subversive is an agent of change, someone or something that challenges the status quo, but not like children when they discover the power of “why?,” more like because the situation demands it.

Sometimes we just want to take a pass on politically charged flicks, Debbie-downer movies depicting the everlasting oppression of millions of people. Sometimes just one episode of  The OA or Black Mirror is enough because our reality is more fucked up, it doesn’t compare to any fantasy on our queue. Fuck yeah we wanna watch something uplifting, stories in space, the new animation flick mocking our own humanity, romcoms or bromances, shit getting blown-up, or any other thing that doesn’t require introspection. But we need to feed our brain other shit too.

The following is a list of films in Spanish that, especially in times of fervent demagoguery, are relevant. Some of these films are exactly that: straight up heavy shit, others are subversive the way love is, because nowadays loving is an act of civil disobedience.

This specific selection is available at La Phoenikera’s own Burton Barr Central Library:

  1. Bad Hair (Venezuela, 2013)


2. NO (Chile, 2012)


3. Butterfly (España, 1999)


4. I am Cuba (Cuba, 1964)


5. Mondays in the Sun (España, 2002)


6. Chinese Takeaway (Argentina,  2011)


7. Our Brand is Crisis (Bolivia, 2006)


8. Milk of Sorrow (Perú, 2009)


9. How Much Further (Ecuador, 2006)


10. PVC-1 (Colombia, 2007)


11. The Pope’s Toilet  (Uruguay, 2001)


12. Landfill Harmonic (Paraguay, 2015)