The Best Documentaries About Nicaragua

Revolutionary art in Esteli, Nicaragua
Revolutionary art in Esteli, Nicaragua | © ENICOK / Flickr
Jack Guy

Nicaragua is a beautiful country with a turbulent history, making it an interesting place for documentary filmmakers. Here are some of the best documentaries about Central America’s largest nation.

Nicaragua: A Nation’s Right to Survive (1983)

John Pilger made this television documentary in 1983, and it remains interesting to this day. It’s fascinating to see how the Sandinista movement was regarded then and compare that to how the party has developed over time.

Nicaragua Was Our Home (1986)

This documentary focuses on the repression of Miskito indigenous groups and their armed struggle against the Sandinistas. It’s an important look at the effects of the conflict on a region that remains isolated from the rest of Nicaragua today.

Pictures from a Revolution (1991)

In this 1991 documentary, photographer Susan Meiselas travels back to Nicaragua to look for the people she had taken photos of during the revolution in 1979. It’s interesting to see what happened to ordinary people after the upheaval.

Que viva Mauricio Demierre (Y también la revolucion) (2006)

Director Stéphane Goël tells the story of a Swiss man murdered by the Contras during the revolution. The geopolitical situation was complicated at the time, and this documentary raises important questions about international influence.

Ballad of the Little Soldier (1984)

Fans of director Werner Herzog will enjoy this documentary looking at the Miskito children who were recruited to fight against the Sandinistas in the 1980s.

Dreaming Nicaragua (2009)

Director Marcelo Bukin portrays four children living in extreme poverty in Nicaragua, but emphasizes their hopes for the future. The focus is on their work with a traveling art teacher, who gives the children a space to express themselves.

Las Sandinistas (2018)

This 2018 documentary looks at the role of women in the revolutionary Sandinista movement and the way they have reacted to marginalization since victory was won in 1979. This film is an important look at how the revolution has failed women, and what is being done about it.

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