Les Blank's Chulas Fronteras in 16mm
Les Blank's '76 doc is a complex, insightful look at the Chicano experience as mirrored in the lives and music of the most acclaimed Norteno musicians of the Texas-Mexican border, including Flaco Jimenez and Lydia Mendoza. 16mm print! "Beautiful Borders," as Chulas Fronteras translates, is a zesty introduction to Nortena music and culture that exists along the Texas-Mexico border. This culture is distinct, having its own Spanish dialect, Tejeno, and music that is a fusion of traditional Mexican harmonies, German dancehall rhythms, and a little something extra. From soulful, lively dance tunes to political work songs, Musica Nortena has evolved since the turn of the century into a unique Mexican-American hybrid. Featured are such "traditionalists" as Narciso Martinez, Flaco Jimenez, Los Alegres de Teran, and Lydia Mendoza. Filmmaker Blank links the music's spirit and vitality to the strong family bonds of the Tejenos. The plight of migrant workers adds a sobering backbeat to a generally joyous film. Conceived, Produced by Chris Strachwitz. Photographed, Edited by Les Blank. 1976, 58 mins, Color, 16mm. Part of RoxCine's FRONTERA! film series. Co-sponsored by the General Consulate of Mexico in San Francisco. Co-presented by Cine+Mas San Francisco Latino Film Festival, Colectivo Cinema Errante, PODER SF, CARECEN and the Latino Community Foundation.