SUU Celebrates Hispanic Heritage Week with Screening of Selena

Oct. 2nd SUU held a screening of the movie Selena as part of the Hispanic Heritage week celebration.

Released in 1997 and written/directed by Gregory Nava this film tells the true story of Mexican-American singer/songwriter Selena Quintanilla-Perez, who rose out of relative obscurity as a young Latin singer in Corpus Christi to become one of the most influential contributors to the Tejano genre.

The musical score was excellent, containing actual recordings from the film’s namesake. The progression and evolution of Selena’s music were depicted accurately, as Tejano music has roots in pop, rock, polka, R&B, and Latin.

The movie closely follows the Quintanilla family, who are led by their ambitious father, Abraham (played by Edward James Olmos).

Abraham is a former musician who is stubbornly committed to seeing his three children Suzette, Abie, and the dynamic Selena succeed in the music industry.

The reluctant trio soon found themselves playing at small venues throughout Corpus Christi, with Abie and Susette backing up lead singer Selena on the bass and drums respectively. And as they grow, so does the fame of their band Selena y los Dinos.

The remainder of the film depicts the real-life story of the group, their touring throughout Texas and Mexico, Selena’s ever-increasing popularity, her forbidden love and subsequent conflict with her father/manager, and her life’s tragic ending.

The film did well in telling the dramatic story of Selena’s life, but the brief moments of captivating conflict were somewhat overshadowed by lengthy musical montages.

The dialogue was simple but had moments of depth and brilliance, such as Abraham’s rant about the difficulties of embracing two cultures as a Mexican-American.

The most dramatic moment of the film, surrounding the events of Selena’s untimely death, seemed underplayed. The timing of this crucial moment seemed sudden, vague, and left one curious as to the real details of Selena’s murder.

The film is an authentic portrayal of one of the most beloved singers in both Mexican and American cultures.


Story by: Reyce Knutson
Photo by: Christian Wiediger,