HBO’s latest feature documentary “The Latin Explosion: A New America” strives to captures the enormous influence of Latinos on American culture through the eyes of artists and musicians who have led the charge.
“It’s a Latino story and an American story,” said director Matt O’Neill at Tuesday’s premiere at New York’s Hudson Theater. “It’s a celebration of the culture and its influence on mainstream America.”
Winnowing the list of subjects profiled in the doc was “painful,” O’Neill said.
Gloria and Emilio Estefan were on hand — and they also talked up their new Broadway show “On Your Feet!” Cheech Marin, Rita Moreno, Jose Feliciano, Thalia and George Lopez were among the others profiled who came out for the screening, which drew Spanish-language media outlets from far and wide.
“Latin Explosion” began in HBO chief Richard Plepler’s office last year when exec producer Tommy Mottola came in to pitch a project based on his book. The idea went through several iterations before they settled on a musical prism, which was a natural for music producer and former Sony Music head. “It’s a the story of culture set to music,” said HBO’s Sheila Nevins. She recommends watching it with a dance partner. “It’s going to make you want to move,” she promised.
And sure enough, Emilio Estefan joined the band on drums at the after-party as everyone hit the dance floor.
(Pictured: Danny DeVito and Thalia at “The Latin Explosion: A New America” after-party)