Gregory Nava’s ode to la Reina de la Musica Tejana is being celebrated as an influential film…
The Library of Congress has unveiled its annual list of 25 films to make the cut for the National Film Registry, with the 72-year-old Mexican/Spanish American filmmaker’s Selena among this year’s selections.
This year’s list, considered among America’s most influential motion pictures, features titles spanning from 1902-2008.
The movies have been selected for their cultural, historic or aesthetic importance to preserve the nation’s film heritage.
Several, including Nava’s Selena, explore stories from diverse communities that often carry universal themes.
Selena, the 1997 biographical film of Tejano Music star Selena Quintanilla-Pérez starred Jennifer Lopez in her first major movie role.
Co-star Edward James Olmos told the Library of Congress that Selena “will stand the test of time… (It’s) a masterpiece because it allows people to learn about themselves by watching other peoples’ culture.”
Sylvia Morales’ 1979 film Chicana was also selected to be part of the registry this year.
The film traces the history of Chicana and Mexican women from pre-Columbian times to the present. It covers women’s role in Aztec society, their participation in the 1810 struggle for Mexican independence, their involvement in the US labor strikes in 1872, their contributions to the 1910 Mexican revolution and their leadership in contemporary civil rights causes. Using murals, engravings and historical footage, Chicana shows how women, despite their poverty, have become an active and vocal part of the political and work life in both Mexico and the United States
Three films on this year’s list directly addressed one of the most pressing issues of the day: racially-motivated violence against people of color. The Murder Of Fred Hampton (1971), Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987) and Requiem-29 (1970) told stories of violence against Black, Asian and Hispanic Americans, respectively.
Requiem-29 documents the chilling inhuman treatment of 50,000 Chicanos by police and the death of L.A. Times journalist Ruben Salazar.
The 2021 roster of titles brings the total number in the registry to 825.
Said Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden, “Films help reflect our cultural history and creativity — and show us new ways of looking at ourselves — though movies haven’t always been deemed worthy of preservation. The National Film Registry will preserve our cinematic heritage, and we are proud to add 25 more films this year. The Library of Congress will work with our partners in the film community to ensure these films are preserved for generations to come.”
Select titles from 30 years of the National Film Registry are freely available online in the National Screening Room.
Films Selected for the 2021 National Film Registry (chronological order)
Ringling Brothers Parade Film (1902)
The Flying Ace (1926)
Hellbound Train (1930)
Flowers and Trees (1932)
Strangers on a Train (1951)
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962)
The Murder of Fred Hampton (1971)
Pink Flamingos (1972)
The Long Goodbye (1973)
Cooley High (1975)
Richard Pryor: Live in Concert (1979)
The Wobblies (1979)
Star Wars Episode VI — Return of the Jedi (1983)
A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984)
Stop Making Sense (1984)
Who Killed Vincent Chin? (1987)
The Watermelon Woman (1996)
The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring (2001)