Sep 1, 2022

Latin History for Morons (2018)

John Leguizamo's Latin History for Morons is an original Netflix comedy stand-up special directed by Aram Rappaport and starring John Leguizamo. It was released on November 3, 2018.
source: No wikipedia.

Comic and actor John Leguizamo examines the repression of Hispanic culture throughout American history in his one-man show "Latin History for Morons."
Freddy and Krasnaya Movie Review

F: Hello mortals! Today, for our Leguizamo week, we don't have a movie, but a theatrical stand-up history lesson with some fantastic dance moves in the middle! From this 2018 Netflix original we get to see the full potential of John Leguizamo as a comedian, and I can say that I've enjoyed his one-man Broadway show very much.

John tells us the story of when he tried to help his son carry out a project for school where he would have to talk about his hero numero uno. His son was also having a little trouble with a bully at school who used to call him a beener. So, John began the quest to find the perfect hero for his son through books focused on the history of the peoples who inhabited the American continent before European colonization, as well as the Latin American cultures and figures that survived that invasion. He wanted his son to be proud of his racial identity and to teach that bully a lesson without having to resort to violence,even though he encourages the kid to sucker punch the bully at some point). The child regrets obeying that advice from his father and later says "Violence is the lowest form of communication" and I agree with that.

K: Hey, Freddy! I can say that, in general, I had a pleasant impression of this one-man show performed by John Leguizamo. He blended Native American history in an utterly charming way, spicing it up with notes of annoyance and anguish at the injustice that is the heritage of the Aztecs, Incas, Mayans and other Indian tribes not being mentioned in his son's American history textbook.

Latin History for Morons GIF
Tango 👏
F: John's jokes took their time to warm me up, but when he started telling the story about the origin of syphilis and groping his imaginary sheep while calling it fluffy with his Irish accent, I surrendered to his comedy. I don't know how accurate all the historical information he provides is, but the books he recommends are of great importance and John ends up providing a great service to the minorities living in America and all the people of Latin America through his art and entertainment. Some of the books he mentioned are: "A People's History of the United States by Howard Zinn", "1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus by Charles C. Mann", and The History of Latin America: Collision of Cultures by Marshall C. Eakin, among others.

K: You have to give credit to John for sharing a decent list of books and probably inspiring quite a few people to read them and learn more about American history. I was interested from the very beginning. John is indeed a very charismatic and talented comedian, who knows how to make a cheeky joke or add a dramatic touch. In the moment when tears welled up in his eyes, I felt how deep his pain was for all the injustice to the Native American peoples. 

F: There's moments where John gets serious and I found interesting his talk about the historical repression and rage that runs through his veins, and, imagining myself in his place, I think I would have even less tolerance and patience than he has for all the discrimination and debasement that immigrants and NATIVES of the USA still have to endure by the white establishment.

As a European and a descendant of the great maritime explorers, I should feel that white guilt for the genocide of indigenous peoples, the slave trade and other nasty shit that my ancestors perpetrated, but I don't, because I grew up and lived as a minority, a lower middle white trash citizen who since little hates with a burning passion our global, earth destructive, racist, hypocrite and deceitful capitalistic system.

K: Unfortunately, genocide and oppression work faster and more efficiently. I really liked that John was able to inspire his son to be proud of his roots and chose himself as his hero. Freddie and I thought it would be John himself, in a grand cheesy final but we got surprised. John must be really proud of his son.

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Aztec warrior dance 😂
F: I can only imagine the kind of propaganda that was made during the "discoveries" of the Americas and falsehoods scattered by the winds. I think I'm going to check out the research project by Elizabeth Graham that explores the idea that 'human sacrifice' is a Spanish construct and that the Maya rationalized socially sanctioned killing through warfare. From what I know now about war propaganda, back in those days it would be really easy to fool people and turn everyone from a different color into an enemy of god and king.

To end my ramble, I highly recommend this one-person show for its ability to pique our historical curiosity, John's dance moves and, of course, his jokes, accents and impersonations. John Leguizamo is an excellent comedian and artist despite having made that hideous film (The Pest) where that idea seems impossible. I've also found here a great self-empowering and beautiful message conveyed by his son's story.

K: I consider this one-man show to be a worthy creation by John Leguizamo. Above, Freddie listed all his virtues. I can only support that. The only thing I didn't really like was the amount of foul language. I survived, but sometimes I caught myself thinking - that this is too much swearing coming from John's mouth. People who are a little bit more intolerant of swearing than me are not recommended to watch this show.

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Is that Andrew Jackson or Frederick Douglass?
Freddy's Score: 78/100
Krasnaya's Score: 60/100


Fuck you Netflix for not letting me upload 1 minute clips to YouTube...



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