A New HBO Doc Gathers “Largest Array of Latino Superstars Ever in a Film” to Celebrate Latino Music


HBO has announced their upcoming documentary, The Latin Explosion: a New America, directed and produced by Matthew O’Neill and Jon Alpert (the duo who made the four-Emmy-award-winning HBO doc, Baghdad Er). Major music executive Tommy Mottola (who served as EP on the film) said in a statement that the film, which focuses on Latino music’s influence on American culture as a whole, boasts “the largest array of Latino superstars ever in a film.”

The statement is indeed substantiated by the actual list of names dropped in the press release, including Marc Anthony, Emilio Estefan Jr., Gloria Estefan, José Feliciano, Eva Longoria, George Lopez, Jennifer Lopez, Los Lobos, Cheech Marin, Ricky Martin, Rita Moreno, Pitbull, Romeo Santos, Shakira, Thalía and Sofía Vergara, all of whom will participate by “telling a powerful story of their history and immigration, politics, and rise from a small minority population to the most critical demographic in the United States.”

The film, which is narrated by John Leguizamo, will range in time and genre from the influence of cha-cha and mambo in the ’50s through the likes of Desi Arnaz and Rita Moreno, to 60s guitarists like Carlos Santana, to the popularity of salsa in the 70s. The film will then delve into coverage of more recent Latino superstars, from the forces of Gloria Estefan and Emilio Estefan in the ’80s to Jennifer Lopez and Shakira in the 90s and finally Pitbull and Romeo Santos today.

The film will debut on HBO and HBO Latino on November 16, and will, according to the release, be simulcast in Latin America and the Caribbean.