miss bala

MISS BALA showcases Latina Power and Diversity in Hollywood

Representation, Action and Determination.

That is exactly what Sony’s new action-packed film MISS BALA is all about.

The film starring actors Gina Rodriguez and Puerto Rican actor Ismael Cruz Córdova takes its viewers on a wild chase with an ending that you can’t possibly predict.

The film which is said to have had a 95 percent Latino cast and crew, follows the main character “Gloria” who is played by Rodriguez through a series of obstacles in and around Tijuana, Mexico. Gloria who is determined to find her best friend “Suzu” played by Mexican actress Cristina Rodlo, is forced to help her captor, a crime boss, named “Lino” played by Córdova. Throughout the film you witness Gloria turn into a bold and powerful mujer that won’t let anything or anyone keep her from finding her best friend.

Having a Latina cast for a role outside the typical roles often given to Latinas makes for something refreshing and new. With characters like Gloria, we get to witness Latinas in action and get to see actresses such as Rodriguez step into empowering roles. Sure like in many Hollywood films, not all scenarios are “realistic,” but it also doesn’t take away from the fact that it is a step forward in diversifying Hollywood films. 

One thing is for sure, the representation of the Latino community in the film is present in many ways.

First, having the starring roles be Latino and having more than half of the production crew being Latino is big within itself but MISS BALA brought more than that. It brought actors such as Córdova, who is breaking through barriers himself and is showing Hollywood why they need to make space for Latinos and people of color in all genres in film. Córdova is doing this by starring in films such as “Mary Queen of Scots” stepping into a period film, something he has always wanted to do and has been vocal about on social media. 

Aside from the leading actors representing Latinos in film, the MISS BALA crew also featured music by ibeyi which is a French-Cuban-Afro-Latina musical duo lead by twin sisters Lisa-Kaindé Diaz and Naomi Diaz. All in all the film really attempted and succeeded in making its mark towards seeing more Latinos cast, starring and producing more films in Hollywood.

Catch MISS BALA in theaters this weekend, starting tonight, February 1st.

Janette Villafana was born and raised in Santa Ana, California. As a first-generation Mexican-American she is pushing through stereo-types and is currently pursuing a BA in Journalism with a minor in Film & Electronics at California State University, Long Beach. Through her writing she hopes to evoke change and tell the stories of those whose voices are often silenced. Instagram: @_Janette_v | Twitter: @Janette_V