Latinx Screens: Film, TV, and Video

Asynchronous Blog Post on Sin Nombre

Sin Nombre is set as a border crossing social-political thriller. The stories of Sayra, a teenager living in Honduras and hungering for a brighter future, and teen gang members Smiley and Casper, for whom the Mara Salvatrucha is nearly their entire universe, become interlaced on the train to the US border, a journey that will determine the future of their lives.”

-Production Notes, Sundance Catalog

ASYNCHRONOUS BLOG POST (Deadline 11/2 before the class)


1. Rent and watch the film Sin Nombre (Cary Joji Fukunaga, 2009)

2. In the comment section down below answer ONE of the following prompts (2oo-words minimum).


Give your interpretation of the film title: Sin Nombre (Nameless). Think about the gangs’ naming practices and ethics as well as the experiences of migrants. Refer to plot elements, specific scenes, and/or characters.


How does the film contextualize migration to the US from Central America? Refer to plot elements, specific scenes, and/or characters.


In filmmaking, a long take is a continuous shot with a duration much longer than the conventional editing pace either of the film itself or of films in general. Significant camera movement (handheld or with a steady-cam) and elaborate blocking are often elements in long takes.

Why do you think the director and his crew decided to film the above-posted sequence as a long take? Which character’s point of view is highlighted by filming this scene as a long take? How does this long take make you feel as an audience member?


Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses. Do you agree with their arguments and interpretations? Do you disagree? What other observations about Sin Nombre do you want to bring to the discussion?

Vampires Vs The Bronx and The Latinx Urban Space and Identity

Entry Question

Is your neighborhood gentrifying? What signs have you identified that make you think that way? Do these signs resemble the ones presented by Vampires Vs. the Bronx?

Stages of Gentrification

In the first, “pioneers” — often bohemians and artists — move to dilapidated or abandoned areas (as in governmental neglect) in search of cheaper rents; in the second, the middle classes follow; in the third, their numbers displace the original population; and in the final stage, the neighborhood is fully turned over to banks, developers and the wealthy. The fifth and last phase of gentrification is when neighborhoods aren’t just more friendly to capital than to people but cease being places to live a normal life.

Recommended Article:

Forget ‘The Bronx Is Burning.’ These Days, The Bronx Is Gentrifying

Oral/slide presentations




Group Discussion- Reading and Discussing Ed Morales’s The Latinx Urban Space and Identity

.Barrios (Pages 250-251)

How Vampires Vs. The Bronx illustrates the clashes between the barrio’s cultural memory and the actions of developers?

.Gentrification (Page 252)

What evidence do the characters of the film encounter that make them certain that they will not be included in the re-building of the Bronx? Why do they think that if they disappear nobody will notice?

.Afro-Latinidad and Urban Resistance (Pages 264; 267-268)

What coalition and solutions to gentrification Vampires Vs The Bronx proposes?

Asynchronous Blog Post on Vampires Vs. The Bronx

Vampires Vs. The Bronx is a comedy-horror hybrid that pokes fun at the extinction and displacement many diasporic communities of color are facing right now in major cities by corporate forces. It follows a group of teenagers of Caribbean descent who are forced to protect their neighborhood in the Bronx when a group of vampires/gentrifiers invades.

ASYNCHRONOUS ASSIGNMENT (Deadline: 10/12 before the class)


1. Watch the film Vampires Vs. The Bronx (Osmany Rodriguez, 2020) on Netflix

2. In the comment section down below answer ONE of the following prompts (2oo-words minimum).


An allegory is a narrative in which a character, place, or event is used to deliver a broader socio-political message about real-world issues and occurrences. Discuss the allegory of corporate gentrifiers as vampires.

Refer to specific characters, scenes, and/or the plot.


How the movie proposes a trans-Caribbean unity to “save the neighborhood” and protect the needs of the Bronx residents.


Analyze how Vampires vs the Bronx flip common horror mise en scene elements (make-up; wardrobe; special effects; lighting; props) to highlight the contrasting presence of gentrifiers and as comedy tools.


Respectfully interact with ONE of your classmates’ responses. Do you agree with their arguments and interpretations? Do you disagree? What other observations about Vampires Vs The Bronx do you want to bring into the discussion?

Gun Hill Road and When Does Resistance Begin?

Entry Question

What topics from the films and critical texts we have discussed during the first half of the semester would you like to see included in the midterm? Would you like to propose a question?

When Does Resistance Begin? Queer Immigrant and U.S-Born Latino Youth, Identity and the Infrapolitics of the Street

In her essay, associate professor, urban ethnographer, and educational researcher, Cindy Cruz examines the small and deliberate practices of queer youth toward their caseworkers, security guards, and each other. She proposes that observing these practices aids to expand the notion of resistance. She recognizes resistance when youth refuse the logic of domination and share knowledge in ways that suggest new kinds of socialities. She argues that these new socialities have the possibility to become spaces where queer youth can practice new sensibilities and ways of being as they negotiate through the often hostile worlds they traverse. (289-90)

Overlapping Keywords

.Resistance- it happens when youth say no to the alternatives they are offered in worlds where they are brutalized and oppressed or to the narratives that emerge within these oppressive spaces. Queer Latino youth might resist using the smallest of gestures. (291)

.Infrapolitics-defined as the dissident offstage practices that resist the everyday degradations and experiences of exclusion that make up the daily fabric of LGBTQ+ Latinx youth lives. (294)

.Resistant socialities- off-stage (non-institutional) practices of queer Latinx youth; breathing spaces, however tight, for youth to reclaim energy, regroup, and create safe space; small deviation from the logic of oppression. (292)

.Hidden transcript- the space of rest and leisure, a place to gossip about your caseworkers, teachers, and the ever-present security guards in Spanish, Spanglish, or English. It is also a place for youth to exchange valuable information about how institutions, organizations, worksites, schools, and youth centers, work (297)

Oral Presentations on Gun Hill Road and “When Does Resistance Begin?”


Grechka,Inna V

Hart I,Elise Hope

Group Discussion

Think of all the different spaces Vanessa, the young trans woman presented in Gun Hill Road, “traverse.” How do these spaces differentiate? In which ones she feels safe? In which spaces she engages in resistance?


The socialities of resistance that youth develop for survival are vital spaces where the potential to learn new ways of negotiating these hostile worlds can also become places to learn multiple sensibilities and new ways of engaging their world(s) that offer liberatory possibilities. When queer Latino street youth move away or refuse to continue to engage with abusive partners, share technology and vital digital information with each other or question the pedagogy of research, I argue that it is here that resistance begins. (317)

Instead of staying silent, invisible, passive, youth talk back, share knowledge, and practice ways of knowing and being that have the potential for other kinds of emancipatory praxis. (318)

Recommended Interview