I always knew representation is important, but I’ve never felt represented in movies or series or books when they portray a puertorrican character. Although I know a lot of puertorricans like me the truth is these characters are not portrayed like me or others like me.
The other day I was watching Vampires vs The Bronx and there’s a kid reading Salem’s Lot wearing a Ghost shirt named Luis Costa played wonderfully by Gregory Diaz IV. Just a few seconds later Miguel (played by Jaden Michael) calls Luis puertorrican Harry Potter.
There, that moment when they called that kid a Puertorrican Harry Potter (because of the glasses). A nervous, skinny kid that likes to read and loves heavy metal. For the first time ever I felt I connected with a character in a personal level. At 41 years old, after watching thousands of hours of movies and tv shows, I felt a connection with a character like ever before.
Until that moment I’ve had never experience it first hand. I’ve seen puertorrican characters in movies before, but never have I’ve seen myself in those characters. As I mentioned before, I’ve always understood the importance of representation in films, but I could never relate to that.
It was a fun movie with a strong message, the kind of movie you play with some friends on a Saturday evening before starting your D&D session. I can only imagine how BIPOC kids feel when they see movies like Black Panther. This movie wasn’t only entertaining it also reinforced my conviction about how important representation is and how much it matters, not only to kids because it will show them a version of themselves they probably wouldn’t think possible, but to adults too. Like me, that enjoyed the movie with a completely new set of eyes.
Go check it out if you like and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did. The movie is available for streaming on Netflix.
See you guys next time, when I ramble about tattoo studios in movies and commercials.
Elias “Gambit” Melendez