The Best Films That Will Teach You About Nicaragua's Civil War

Sandino graffiti in Nicaragua
Sandino graffiti in Nicaragua | © Jorge Mejía Peralta / Flickr
Photo of Jack Guy
11 May 2018
View

Nicaragua has suffered a turbulent recent history, with Sandinista revolutionaries bringing down the Somoza dictatorship before a US-backed Contra insurgency tried to kick them out of power. Here are some of the best films that will help you get a better idea of what happened in the country.

Alsino y el cóndor (1982)

This 1982 film by Chilean director Miguel Littín was nominated for a Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award, the only time a film set in Central America has gained that distinction. The story follows a young Nicaraguan boy whose village is taken over by American troops, throwing him into the conflict.

Princesas Rojas (2013)

Released in 2013, this film tells the story of two girls in exile with their Sandinista parents in Costa Rica. Forced to adapt to new surroundings, the family live a double life and have to deal with questions of loyalty to the movement they gave so much to.

Carla’s Song (1996)

British director Ken Loach made this acclaimed film in 1996, in which a young Nicaraguan woman moves to Glasgow to escape the war. In Scotland she meets a bus driver and falls in love, and eventually the pair return to Nicaragua to search for the family she left behind.

Palabras mágicas (Para romper un encantamiento) (2012)

This arty film looks at how the Sandinista revolution failed to deliver on its promises to improve conditions in Nicaragua. It has been described as a cinematic poem, and it certainly makes for interesting viewing.

Latino (1985)

In this 1985 film, a Mexican-American veteran of the Vietnam War ends up training Contra rebels to battle against the Sandinistas in Nicaragua. Things get complicated when the veteran falls in love with a local woman whose community has been affected by the Contra operations.

Ballad of the Little Soldier (1984)

German director Werner Herzog uses this documentary to look at the child soldiers who were recruited to fight in 1980s Nicaragua. It follows boys from the Miskito indigenous community who were trained to battle the Sandinistas.

Nicaragua Was Our Home (1986)

A documentary looking at repression of the Miskito indigenous groups, this 1986 film was directed by Lee Shapiro. A year later he was killed in Afghanistan, making this his only feature film.

Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel – and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.

Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.

Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Epic Trips, Mini Trips and Sailing Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travellers and friends who want to explore the world together.

Epic Trips are deeply immersive 8 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and enough down time to really relax and soak it all in. Our Mini Trips are small and mighty - they squeeze all the excitement and authenticity of our longer Epic Trips into a manageable 3-5 day window. Our Sailing Trips invite you to spend a week experiencing the best of the sea and land in the Caribbean and the Mediterranean.

We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm – and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.

Cookies Policy

We and our partners use cookies to better understand your needs, improve performance and provide you with personalised content and advertisements. To allow us to provide a better and more tailored experience please click "OK"