Entertainment

Warner Bros. Releases ‘La Llorona’ And Proves They Still Don’t Understand That We Don’t Want Our Latinx Stories Whitewashed

The tale of La Llorona is one many of us kids from Latin American countries, particularly, Mexico, know well and once took extremely seriously on its face. The Mexican lore is pretty much a cultural treasure, one used by our moms and abuelas to scare the caca out of us in the years in which we wanted to wander out at night with our friends hours after the street lights had turned off or refused to get into bed when it was time to sleep. The story of a wife hell-bent on avenging herself of her cheating ex-husband and who drowned her children to do so haunted all of us. Not just because it told the story of an actual mother who murdered her own children, but because she was then cursed to wander the earth in search of them outside in our driveways, malls and even the hallways that led out from our bedrooms, for forever. La Llorona and her legendary anecdote have left serious mental scars on those of us who heard her stories but they have also become a keen part of our Latinx culture and heritage. It’s why, when news that Warner Bros. had greenlit a film about the scorned women and her curse, many of us were actually pretty excited.

That is until the trailer dropped.

On Thursday, Warner Bros. released the trailer for the upcoming film “The Curse of La Llorona” and you can color us unimpressed.

At first sight, it’s easy to see that Warner Bros. did its due diligence in ensuring they wiped the film’s plot of any Latinx influence, let alone any indication that the original tale is Mexican. Yes, Venezuela Wayuu reina Patricia Velasquez gets a spot on the screen, but not in the way of a lead actress as we might have hoped. Instead, we get “Brokeback Mountain” star Linda Cardellini.

In a release of the movie’s synopsis we learn that the story follows Cardellini as a social worker named Anna Garcia who ignores “the eerie warning of a troubled mother suspected of child endangerment” and is “drawn into a frightening supernatural realm [and finds that her] only hope in surviving La Llorona’s deadly wrath may be a disillusioned priest and the mysticism he practices to keep evil at bay, on the fringes where fear and faith collide.”

(Heads up: perhaps the most haunting aspect of the trailer comes at a moment in which Cardellini pronounces our weeping villain’s name as “Law Yer-Row-nuh.”)

Now, this isn’t the first time creatives have completely botched La Llorona’s classic story. Her popularity has piqued the minds of supernatural writers and creators before and as a result, many of us have endured whitewashed versions of her story wherein the Mexican elements of it are overlooked or ignored. It isn’t even the first time we’ve seen a Latinx story driven by a white actor. Still, La Llorona fans are taking the casting and premise of the film along with the painting of what the Latinx priest, played by Tony Amendola, does as “mysticism” as an extreme slap in the face to their culture and identities.

Critics online have pointed out that the creatives behind this show would have done well to explore this Mexican legend through Mexican characters.

Now again, the film’s synopsis describes Cardellini’s character as having the last name Garcia, which could mean one of three things. Either Cardellini’s character was adopted into a Latinx family, she took the name of her Latinx spouse, or the film is setting us up to witness some major Brownface. If the latter is true, we are super down for the moment Latinx Twitter gets ahold of this information and unleashes its incredulity. In a scenario where the second is true and Cardellini’s character has married into a Latinx family then: ?????????? I guess we’re still in an age where studios don’t understand that a large mass of their audience craves representation and are still afraid of wandering too far away from the days when Latinx characters played the sidekick. Clearly, the executives over at Warner Bros. did not get the memo that POC killed it this year in the box office. Remember that time “Coco,” “Black Panther,” and “Crazy Rich Asians” shut down the box office within just a few months of each other? Or the fact that there are so many Latinx actresses available for roles? Salma Hayek, Tessa Thompson, and Eva Longoria are just a few outstanding actresses of Mexican descent with top billing. But you just couldn’t go there Warner Bros.?

Ay yay yay.

Go ahead and check out the underwhelming trailer here.


Read: Meet the Young Latinx Women and Non-Binary Folx Keeping Punk Alive

Recommend this story by clicking the share button below! 

Notice any corrections needed? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

The Good, the Bad and the Evil: Supernatural and Spooky Works by Latinx Writers

Fierce Boss Ladies

The Good, the Bad and the Evil: Supernatural and Spooky Works by Latinx Writers

Latinx are hardly strangers to supernatural folklore and magical realism has long been an essential element in some of the most renowned literature hailing from Latin America. That said, it should come as no surprise that the Latinas featured on this list tap into the creepier, darker sides of our cultura to develop their own supernatural page-turners. Imbued with Latinx folklore, inspired by supernatural staples like vampires, or a creepy tale that’s truly one-of-a-kind, the following works are an ode to the macabre and the spooky so read with caution and maybe some sage.

Valeria Luiselli

Valeria Luiselli is one of Mexico’s most celebrated writers and her book “The Story of my Teeth” is a creepy and strange adventure that tells the life of a man through his dientes. Gustavo Sánchez Sánchez, known as “Highway” is the unreliable narrator auctioning his teeth claiming they belonged to the likes of Plato, Petrarch, and Virginia Woolf. Highway’s journey to sell his teeth becomes an opportunity to share his story, and that includes a magical encounter with malevolent clowns that only adds to the delusions of the narrator. Born in 1983, Luiselli lives in the Bronx and received the National Book Foundation ‘5 under 35’ award.

Learn more about her on our list of acclaimed Mexican writers.

Zoraida Córdova

Ecuadorian writer Zoraida Córdova is known for her “Brooklyn Brujas” series that features reluctant brujas, magic, and even Death herself. The first book in the series, “Labyrinth Lost,” won an International Latino Book Award and has been optioned by Paramount. She’s also published the “The Vicious Deep” trilogy about mermaids not of the Disney persuasion but rather razor-toothed, and has also included mermen, and a Kraken. Córdova is acclaimed for her unique voice in the paranormal genre in YA literature and is currently working on the third book in the Brujas series set for release next year.

Samanta Schweblin

View this post on Instagram

Cultura. Samanta Schweblin. Es una de las autoras argentinas más exitosas. Sus historias de fantasía y terror cautivan cada día a más lectores. Secretos de su estilo. Para la promoción de la última novela de Samanta Schweblin, “Kentukis”, la editorial que publica sus libros instaló grandes afiches en puntos estratégicos de la ciudad. Por estos días, cualquier transeúnte atento podrá descubrir el bello retrato de la escritora que ilustra la campaña, en estaciones de subte, colectivos y paredes vacías de Buenos Aires. Un despliegue inusual para el alicaído mercado editorial argentino que, más conservador que nunca, sólo apuesta sobre seguro. Y es que, aunque a primera vista la literatura de Schweblin está muy alejada de las fórmulas de los bestsellers habituales, algo en la química de sus textos -fantasía, terror y angustia psicológica combinados con un estilo impecable- funciona cada vez mejor en la Argentina y el mundo. Desde su primer libro de cuentos – “El núcleo del disturbio” (Booket)- hasta hoy, su narrativa ha ganado calidad, consolidándose como una voz muy personal dentro del panorama literario local. La lista de sus reconocimientos ya es muy larga. Por ejemplo, ganó el premio de Narrativa Breve Rivera del Duero en 2015 por su colección de cuentos “Siete casas vacías” (Páginas de espuma). También en 2017 fue seleccionada finalista del Man Booker International Prize por “Distancia de rescate” (Random House), su libro más celebrado, que además le permitió quedarse con el premio Tournament of Books y el Shirley Jackson, un galardón en homenaje a la gran autora de terror norteamericana. Justamente, ahora, Schweblin trabaja en una adaptación al cine de esta novela corta que le ha dado tantas satisfacciones, junto a la directora peruana Claudia Llosa. Nota en completa en Revista Noticias. Foto: Juan Ferrari @juanferrari1618 #revistanoticias #cultura #escritores #samantaschweblin #juanferrari

A post shared by Revista Noticias (@revistanoticias) on

Argentine author Samanta Schweblin has received acclaim for her terrifying psychological thriller “Fever Dream”. The ghost story serves as a grotesque page-turner where a dying woman in a clinic in Argentina is interrogated by a child named David about the events that led to her illness. It’s a vivid and surrealist cautionary tale about the dangers of toxins. Schweblin lives in Berlin and has had her work translated into more than 20 languages, the English translation of “Fever Dream” was released in 2017.

Learn more about her on our list of acclaimed Argentine writers.

Guadalupe Garcia McCall

Award-winning poet and writer Guadalupe Garcia McCall was inspired by her Mexican roots when she developed the young adult novel “The Summer of Mariposas”. The book tells the story of Odilla and her four sisters who find a dead body and set out on a journey to return him to his family in Mexico. Their return to Texas is filled with supernatural elements including La Llorona herself, a bruja, a coven of half-human barn owls and even chupacabras. The novel is a celebration of sisterhood and has been described as the Mexican-American interpretation of the “The Odyssey”. McCall was born in Piedras Negras, Coahuila and resides in San Antonio where she works as a high school English teacher.

Silvia Moreno-Garcia

Martin Dee, 2017

Mexican-Canadian novelist Silvia Moreno-Garcia is known for science fictions works for which she has won numerous accolades including the World Fantasy Award. From sorcery in Mexico City (“Signal to Noise”) to narco-vampires in Mexico City in “Certain Dark Things”, Moreno-Garcia books showcase a dark and other-worldly side of Mexico filled with magical elements and imaginative prose. She is the publisher of Innsmouth Free Press and also co-edits The Jewish Mexican Literary Review and the horror magazine The Dark.

Kathleen Alcalá

Kathleen Alcalá’s debut book “Mrs. Vargas and the Dead Naturalist” was critically acclaimed and awarded the King County Publication Award in 1992. The Mexican-American writer published the collection of 14 stories set in the Southwest and Mexico and infused with magical realism. Her debut novel “Spirits of the Ordinary” weaves together folklore and fantasy through the story a Jewish family in Mexico made up of an alchemist, a clairvoyant and a gold-obsessed and rebellious son. Magical realism once again plays a part in her writing, reminiscent of Isabel Allende’s iconic book “The House of Spirits.” Alcalá lives in Washington and teaches creative writing.

Yvonne Navarro

True horror fiction fans will delight in Yvonne Navarro’s 1993 debut novel “Afterage”, a finalist for the Bram Stoker award for Superior Achievement in a First Novel. The story takes place in downtown Chicago after a vampire uprising that destroyed the human race and what remains of them is now reserved as food for the undead. A team of mortal guerrillas unites to set the captives free using what knowledge they have to defeat the vampires. Navarro is lzo known for contributing to the “Buffyverse” having written seven novels inspired by “Buffy the Vampire Slayer”.

Read: Latinas Are Gearing Up for Dia De Los Muertos With The Most Bright And Dreamy Altars We’ve Seen Yet

Recommend this story by clicking the share button below!

Notice any corrections needed? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

The Legendary Guatemalan Tale Of El Sombrerón Will Literally Spook You

hide from home

The Legendary Guatemalan Tale Of El Sombrerón Will Literally Spook You

Remember that guy who wouldn’t leave you alone? Maybe he sent you cute texts that you didn’t find so cute or kept trying to convince you to give him a chance when you knew that wasn’t going to happen. Well. We have a story for you about a guy named El Sombrerón, the original Dude Who Refused To Get a Clue

The Legend of El Sombrerón

Credit: @MaikorArts / Instagram

El Sombrerón is a character from Guatemalan legend who simply won’t let his lady loves turn him away, thanks to his magical silver guitar. He’s also called Tzipitio, Tzizimite, or just “the goblin,” and Mexico and Colombia also have versions of this legend. There’s even a 1950 movie that tells the story.

He has a distinctive outfit.

Credit: @ElviraMendez / Instagram

So, who exactly is this creeper? El Sombrerón is a short, old-looking man dressed all in black, with a thick, shiny belt, boots that make noise when he walks, and of course, a big ol’ hat.

He loves his guitar….

Credit: @early_california_antiques / Instagram

His guitar is central to his awful plots. When he plays, his victims – always women with long hair and big eyes – fall under his spell.

…and his pets.

Credit: @oathlaws_mind / Instagram

He always brings a few things with him: two enormous black dogs, a pack of mules, a cold breeze, and of course, the silver guitar. You know he’s out causing trouble when you see the mules tied up at some poor, unsuspecting chula’s home.

He’ll take that hair, thank you very much.

Credit: @JoyOfBraiding / Instagram

Here’s the other thing about El Sombrerón: He’s got this weird thing for braids. Horses, dogs, people – it doesn’t matter. If it’s got long, luscious hair, he wants his hands on it. Which brings us to our dear Susana.

The Story of Susana

Credit: @tawo_0 / Instagram

Many years ago, there lived a Guatemalan woman named Susana. She had big, beautiful eyes and long hair. She lived a perfectly normal and happy life, but she was exactly El Sombrerón’s type.

Susana never saw him coming.

Credit: @sarabreign / Instagram

Susana was sitting on her balcony one night, enjoying the sight of the full moon, when she heard a strange sound and felt a cold breeze overtake her. Little did she know, El Sombrerón tends to show up under just such a moon.

El Sombrerón was up to his usual tricks.

Credit: @guateatrae / Instagram

So he appeared under the balcony, and he serenaded her with his guitar and gave her dirt to eat. Now, she was totally under his power, though no one knew it yet.

Susana’s parents were too late.

Credit: @jennizzle / Instagram

Susana’s parents couldn’t hear the music, because only El Sombrerón’s victims hear his song, but it was late at night, and their daughter should have been inside anyways. So they brought her inside and locked up the house. Despite their parental concern, the damage had already been done.

El Sombrerón had Susana right where he wanted her.

Credit: @humblerootsnutrition / Instagram

El Sombrerón kept appearing to play music for Susana, ensuring that she would never sleep again. Whenever she tried to eat anything, it became covered in dirt, and so she couldn’t eat either. All that delicious food…gone to waste, just like her. 

The song’s effects began to take hold.

Credit: @GemmyQuinn / Instagram

Susana was wasting away, which was exactly what El Sombrerón had planned. When she finally died from the lack of sleep and food, he would steal her soul on its way to Heaven and keep her all to himself forever. He just had to wait. 

The situation got worse and worse.

Credit: @kujulakadfis / Instagram

For days, no one knew what to do. El Sombrerón kept showing up to sing, and her food would never be edible, no matter what anyone did. Time was running out, and Susana was fighting for her life.

But Susana’s parents had one last idea.

Credit: @VivianaManconi / Instagram

Lucky for Susana, her parents weren’t bobos, and they decided to try and save their daughter from the mysterious thing that had taken hold of her. Somehow, they knew that her hair was the key.

Goodbye, luscious locks!

Credit: @canaygun1995 / Instagram

Susana’s parents cut off her long hair and took it to the local church, where a priest blessed it with holy water and said some prayers over it. Maybe, they thought, this would finally break El Sombrerón’s curse. 

New ‘do, new you, Susana.

Credit: @pulodagattasbc / Instagram

Just like that, Susana and her new hairdo were left completely alone. El Sombrerón vanished and never came back, and Susana regained her strength to live a happy life. But El Sombrerón is still out there, looking for his next long-haired lady to serenade. 

What have we learned today, class?

Credit: @benealessandra / Instagram

Listen to your parents, stay inside, and don’t talk to strange men. The story meant to promote modesty in young women, though if you ask me, it’s not poor Susana’s fault she’s so pretty.

Outdated? Not so fast…

Credit: @duncandzynes / Instagram

Are there any lessons for the modern woman in here? Maybe. You don’t have to chop off your hair to thwart would-be suitors like Susana did – thankfully, there are other ways to handle unwanted attention that will probably be more effective. 

…maybe there’s a better moral to this story.

Credit: @changesbybett / Instagram

So, the real moral of the story: Creeps are out there, but there’s always help. Rock your long locks, live your life, and if you feel able to reach out for help, never be afraid to loop in a trusted comadre to help you handle things. And always check in on how your friends are doing — you never know who might need a metaphorical haircut.


Recommend this story by clicking the share button below! 

Notice any corrections needed? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com