Iconic film with El Paso connection added to Nat’l Film registry

A film with an El Paso connection about a beloved Mexican-American Tejano Music singer from Corpus Christi, Texas who was murdered by her assistant while on the cusp of pop music stardom will be preserved for an eternal time.

The movie, of course, is “Selena”. The 1997 biopic is one of the films added to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry for 2021.

Twenty-five films judged “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant“are added each year.

U.S. Representative Joaquin Castro of San Antonio led the charge for the film to be nominated. In a letter sent to the Librarian of Congress on behalf of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Castro, wrote, in part:

[“Selena”] addresses important themes of cultural identity and assimilation facing Mexican-American communities as they navigate their personal ties to two cultures and two languages.

The film became a beloved icon of Latin culture and met with widespread success, proving once and for all that Latin stories are American stories.

Given its importance as a work of Latin cinema, we believe it deserves to be kept in the Library of Congress.

The El Paso connection

The movie that made Jennifer Lopez a household name has two El Paso connections.

native of El Paso Lupe ontiveros plays Yolanda Saldívar, the former fan club president who was convicted of murdering the beloved music legend. Ontiveros, a graduate of El Paso High School, died in 2012 of liver cancer.

Selena marks the fourth film that Ontiveros was a part of that is registered with the National Film Registry. zoot costume, El North, and Real women have curves are the other three.

Everything for Selenas

El Paso is also Erick Carrillo’s hometown. Carillo, who now lives in Los Angeles, portrayed the character mentioned in the script as “First Cholo”.

Carillo, who steals the stage, delivers two of the film’s most memorable lines: “That bumper was pulled off by the Selenas bus” and the oft-quoted, “Everything for Selenas!” As many times as I’ve seen the movie, this scene always makes me LOL.

“Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi,” “The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring” and “A Nightmare on Elm Street” are also among the 25 films chosen for preservation this year.

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