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Streaming Video Guides

Use this guide to find streaming alternatives to Media Services DVDs.

Mexican Cinema

Titles Available as of July 2022

This is a selective list of streaming video holdings in the American University Library. Streaming guides are created by doing multiple keyword searches in the library catalog to capture as many titles on a topic as possible. For complete up-to-date streaming holdings, please refer to our streaming catalog.


The Adventures of Robinson Crusoe

On 30 September 1659, the aristocratic British Robinson Crusoe's ship sinks and he miraculously survives on a deserted island somewhere in South America. He retrieves a dog, Rex, and cat, Sam, from the shipwreck together with some supplies, weapons, clothes and tools and builds a shelter. He soon learns how to survive by cooking, farming, harvesting the crops. Then the loneliness begins to haunt him, especially after the loss of Rex. When he sees a group of cannibals in the island, tension and fear become part of his life. Later he saves the life of a savage that was going to be eaten by the cannibals; he names him Friday and they become friends. When Robinson Crusoe sees Caucasians on the island, he finds that Captain Oberzo was the victim of a mutiny and he helps him to retrieve his ship. 

The Bruto

A tough young man, who helps to kick poor people out of their houses, falls in love with a girl. She lives with her father in the building about to be demolished.


Gorgeously filmed along the back roads of rural Mexico, Circo follows the Ponce family's hardscrabble circus as it struggles to stay together despite mounting debt, dwindling audiences, and a simmering family conflict. Tino, the ringmaster, is driven by his dream to lead his parents' circus to success and corrals the energy of his whole family, including his four young children, towards this singular goal. But his wife Ivonne is determined to make a change. Feeling exploited by her in-laws, she longs to return to her kids a childhood lost to laboring in the circus. Through this intricately woven story of a marriage in trouble and of a century-old family tradition that hangs in the balance, Circo opens the viewer to the luminous world of a traveling circus while examining the universal themes of family bonds, filial responsibility, and the weight of cultural inheritance.

The Criminal Life of Archibaldo de la Cruz

While recovering from a nervous breakdown after the death of his wife, Archibaldo de la Cruz (Ernesto Alonso) tells a nun that as a spoiled child, he believed he was responsible for the death of his governess after she was shot while he wished to his magical music box that she would die. He then pulls out a razor blade and starts towards the nun, but she runs away and falls down an elevator shaft. He tells the police that he killed ... The delirious journey of a mental disordered man, who is obsessed in making the perfect crime.

The Devil and the Flesh

Susana is a powerful melodrama in which a beautiful, sultry delinquent girl (Rosita Quintana) escapes from a reform school and finds solace in the home of a well to do family. She uses her feminine wiles to tempt the men around her and turns the orderly lives of the locals into a frenzied chaos. The film uses the power of eroticism to reveal the hypocrisies of modern society. 

The Exterminating Angel

After a lavish dinner party, the guests find themselves mysteriously unable to leave the room... and over the next few days all the elaborate pretenses and facades that they've built up by virtue of their position in society collapse completely as they become reduced to living like animals.

Gran Casino

After the mysterious disappearance of an oil well owner, one of his workers, Gerardo (Jorge Negrete) assumes the business management. Soon, the owner's sister (Libertad Lamarque) arrives from Argentina, and, believing that Gerardo killed her brother to keep the wells for himself, she starts working as a singer under a false name in the same casino her brother disappeared, in order to find out what exactly happened. Featuring Libertad Lamarque, Jorge Negrete, Mercedes Barba. 

The Great Madcap

A family's attempts to change the patriarch's somewhat indulgent and hedonistic ways by fooling him into thinking his large fortune is gone. They assume a life of poverty in Mexico in an attempt to teach him a lesson. However, he discovers it's a ruse, but continues to perpetuate the facade of ignorance while sneaking off during the day to conduct his thriving business. Why? To teach his family a lesson - they are all lazy, worthless leeches! Featuring Fernando Soler, Rosario Granados, Andres Soler.


Nazarin is a priest, attempting to living a pure and honest life strictly according to Christian principles—but others only show him distrust and hatred, apart from the local prostitute.

Simon of the Desert

Simon, a deeply religious man living in the 4th century, wants to be nearer to God so he climbs a column. The Devil wants him come down to Earth and is trying to seduce him.

This Strange Passion

Francisco is rich, rather strict on principles, and still a bachelor. After meeting Gloria by accident, he is suddenly intent on her becoming his wife and courts her until she agrees to marry him. Francisco is a dedicated husband, but little by little his passion starts to exhibit disturbing traits. Nevertheless, Gloria meets with scepticism as she expresses her worries to their acquaintances. 

Under the Same Moon

The parallel stories of nine-year-old Carlitos and his mother, Rosario. In the hopes of providing a better life for her son, Rosario works illegally in the U.S. while her mother cares for Carlitos back in Mexico. Unexpected circumstances drive both Rosario and Carlitos to embark on their own journeys in a desperate attempt to reunite. Along the way, mother and son face challenges and obstacles but never lose hope that they will one day be together again. Riggen's film is not only a heartwarming family story; she also offers subtle commentary on the much-debated issue of illegal immigration.


Viridiana, a young nun about to take her final vows, pays a visit to her widowed uncle at the request of her Mother Superior.

Wuthering Heights

Gone several years, the brooding Alejandro returns to the hacienda of his foster sister, Catalina, whom he loves, to find her married to the wealthy and effete Eduardo. Alejandro hates Eduardo and Catalina's brother Ricardo; he's rich now and has a lien on the drunken Ricardo's ranch. He also wants Catalina to run away with him. She loves him as if he was her soul, but she also loves Eduardo and is pregnant, so she won't leave. She wants Alejandro to stay nearby, a soul mate, but he, ruled by instinct and passion, stays only to hurt her. He woos Isabel, Eduardo's impressionable young sister. The passions of impossible love and corrosive hate play out against Mexico's barren high chaparral. 

The Young and the Damned

A group of juvenile delinquents live a violent and crime-filled life in the festering slums of Mexico City, and the morals of young Pedro are gradually corrupted and destroyed by the others.


Border South

Reveals the resilience, ingenuity and humor of Central American immigrants while exposing a global migration system that renders human beings invisible in life as well as death. 

The Boxer

Luis is 27, and lives in the remote peasant village of Sierra de Oaxaca, in southern Mexico. Here, families are numerous and the land is scarce and arid. Like most of the local people, Luis' parents are Mixtecos Indians who survive by growing corn and selling jelly at the weekly local market. But Luis has a dream of how he will escape the surrounding poverty and be able to look after his parents in their old age. Inspired by classic movies of Mexican boxing heroes, he's training to become a famous boxing champion in the United States. This film follows him as he travels north to the U.S. border, joining other migrants determined to outwit the US frontier guards and scale the wall to the New World to realize their dreams. 

Cartel Land

In the Mexican state of Michoacán Dr. José Mireles, a small-town physician known as "El Doctor," leads the Autodefensas, a citizen uprising against the violent Knights Templar drug cartel. Meanwhile, in Arizona's Altar Valley, Tim "Nailer" Foley, an American veteran, heads a small paramilitary group called Arizona Border Recon, whose goal is to stop Mexico's drug wars from seeping across our border.

El Mar La Mar

Weaves together harrowing oral histories of the [Mexican-American] border region with hand-processed, 16mm images of the flora, fauna and items left behind by those who've made the hazardous trek. Over a black screen, subjects speak of their intense, mythic experiences in the desert: A man tells of a fifteen-foot-tall monster said to haunt the region, while a border patrolman spins a similarly bizarre tale of man versus beast. A sonically rich soundtrack adds to the eerie atmosphere as the call of birds and other nocturnal noises invisibly populate the austere landscape. Emerging from the ethos of Harvard's Sensory Ethnography Lab, Sniadecki's attentive documentary approach mixes perfectly with Bonnetta's meditations on the materiality of film. Through their stunning collaboration, they create a mystical, folktale-like atmosphere dense with memories, ghosts and the remains of desire.

El Poeta

Tells the story of renowned Mexican poet Javier Sicilia, who ignited mass protests and an ongoing movement for peace after the brutal murder of his 24-year-old son Juan Francisco, collateral damage in a drug war that has left 60,000+ dead since 2006--the majority civilians. 

El Sicario : Room 164

The story of a hitman for the drug cartels, in Ciudad Juárez Mexico.

El Velador

Night after night, Martin watches over the extravagant mausoleums of Mexico's most notorious drug lords like a guardian angel. Set in a massive, labyrinthine cemetery in the hours between dusk and dawn, Natalia Almada's haunting documentary reminds us that even today, during the turmoil of Mexico's bloodiest conflict since the revolution, ordinary life persists. El Velador is a film about violence without violence.


Mexico City was built not near water but in the middle of a lake. To supply it with fresh water is such a task that it makes it compulsory to bring it from other states. In addition, once sewage water leaves the city it ends up in agriculture. This film is an environmental case study of the Valley of Mexico as it struggles to save itself while its population grows. Can a mega-city mobilize its 22 million citizens to become water sustainable? 

Los Herederos 

Depicts the lives of child-workers for Mexican agriculture. As part of families that make their living through agricultural labor, various children provide the viewer with first-hand examples of the hazardous and harsh conditions they face.  


Mamacita is an extravagant Mexican beauty queen living in her own kingdom in the company of her loyal servants: gardener, chauffeur, chef, housekeeper and nurses. The 95-year-old lady has turned her house into a castle, hiding the open wounds of a prominent Mexican upper-class family behind its stone walls. When José Pablo went abroad to study film, Mamacita made him promise to return to Mexico one day to make a film about her life. He conquers his granny's empire like a Trojan horse, discovering the haunted spirits of his own past and the lack of love that his entire clan has suffered from for generations. 

Mexico, The Frozen Revolution

Gleyzer's documentary analyses the betrayal of the 1910 revolution, incorporating rare newsreel footage of Villa and Zapata, not as historical decoration but as part of a dialectic that culminates in the massacre by troops of the present regime of some 400 students in one day during the Mexican Olympics.

Mother's Day in Cuetzalan: Panchita the Weaver

This film gives us an intimate look at a resilient and spirited woman whose forbearance and skill as a weaver keeps her family afloat through difficult economic times. Life in a small village in Mexico's Sierra Norte has not been easy for Panchita and other indigenous people. Through her eyes one can see how the forces of global economy affect her people. They have been marginalized by Mexico's central government. Their land has been degraded and waters polluted by industries in which they have no stake. Their religion and culture is challenged by the secular outside world. The film shows us the busy Cuetzalan market where this champion weaver sells her wares. She speaks Spanish to tourists and bargains in her own Nahuatl idiom with local peasants. Panchita's everyday experiences are interwoven with memories of a difficult childhood and dreams of a better future for her children. She embroiders her stories with vivid strands of anecdotal feeling, fortitude, devotion and humor. Panchita wants to arrange a "traditional" Mother's Day ceremony for her 80-year-old mother at the homestead in remote Topango, where most of her family still lives. The news of this impending event is reported by Cuetzalan's indigenous radio, "The Voice of the Sierra," whose popular broadcasts reinforce the sense of community. An important film for anthropology and Latin American studies. 

Nowhere Else to Live

In the last forty years, Mexico City, one of the largest and most densely inhabited places in the world, has seen a population explosion from one million to nearly twenty million. The landless peasants who arrive in Mexico City find survival no easier than the rural poverty they sought to escape. Half of Mexico City's people are, or have been, illegal squatters. By introducing us to several families who struggle to survive here, the film puts a human face on Mexico's urban poor. The Martinez family is one of thirty-seven families who live in the shell of a house reduced to rubble by an earthquake. Ramon Martinez dreams of saving enough money from his shoe shine work to marry the mother of his four children in a proper ceremony. Guadalupe is a single mother living in one of the tin and cardboard shacks that lines the road to the airport. She shares a tap of untreated water with her neighbors. Jorge is one of twenty thousand people who live on the fringe of Mexico City's garbage dump. His wife was buried alive by an avalanche caused by the illegal dumping of trash. One organizer, Clara Brugada, is part of a barrio which decided to fight back. With their own hands the people replaced the mud huts with sturdy housing and stood up to the police who have tried to evict them. It now stands as a beacon of hope for the millions who live on the edge. 

Presumed Guilty

In December 2005 Toño Zuniga was picked up off the street in Mexico City, Mexico, and sentenced to 20 years for a murder he knew nothing about. A friend of Toño's contacted two young lawyers, Roberto Hernández and Layda Negrete, who gained prominence in Mexico when they helped bring about the release of another innocent man from prison. Looking into Toño's case, Roberto and Layda managed to get a retrial--on camera--and enlisted the help of filmmaker Geoffrey Smith (THE ENGLISH SURGEON) to chronicle the saga. Shot over three years with unprecedented access to the Mexican courts and prisons, this dramatic story is a searing indictment of a justice system that presumes guilt.

Señorita Extraviada

This film "unfolds like the unsolved mystery that it examines -- the kidnapping, rape and murder of over 350 young women in Juárez, Mexico ... [T]he film unravels the layers of complicity that have allowed these brutal murders to continue. Relying on what filmmaker Lourdes Portillo comes to see as the most reliable of sources -- the testimonies of the families of the victims -- this film documents a two-year search for the truth in the underbelly of the new global economy."--Container.

A Woman Without Love

After indulging in an affair with a man (a friend of the family) she truly loves, a woman returns to her young son and husband for good, and loses contact with the man. Her husband is unaware of the affair. Twenty years later, there is news that the friend has died and left all of his money to the younger son in the family, which leads us to question this younger son's biological origin...