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Chulas Fronteras

Directed by Les Blank & Chris Strachwitz

Chulas Fronteras still

USA, 1976, 58 min, DCP - 4K restorations, in English & Spanish with English subtitles

Chulas Fronteras is a zesty introduction to the music and culture of the Texas-Mexican border. From joyous, lively dance tunes to soulful, political work songs, musica Norteña  fuses traditional Mexican harmonies with central European dancehall rhythms and a little something extra. Newly restored in 4k, Chulas Fronteras celebrates the famed Mexican-American musicians of the borderlands, the migrant farming communities from which they come, the strong family bonds of Tejanos, and the social protest ethos inscribed in their music. Blank & Strachwitz's film brims with tender affection for its subjects, the vitality of their marvelous music, and the generosity of spirit they show in the face of hardship.

FEATURING: Flaco Jiménez, Lydia Mendoza, Los Alegres de Terán, Narciso Martínez, Santiago Jiménez, Rumel Fuentes, Don Santiago Jiménez, Los Pingüinos del Norte, Ramiro Cavazos and more!

To hear more of this historic music:


One of Blank’s most visually ravishing films

10 Essential Les Blank Films Michaelangelo Matos, The Observer

The documentaries transcend a divide where both ends of the borders overlap each other

Jimmy Centeno, Sounds and Colours

Blank’s joyous films celebrated food, music, and life in communities that hitherto had been granted little notice or respect by mainstream America

Dennis Harvey, 48 Hills

Some of the most rousing acoustic dance music on the planet.

Les Blank's roots music docs border on the magnificent Kelly Vance, East Bay Express

Makes every event feel momentous and immediate

Daniel Barnes, Dare Daniel Movie Reviews

Chulas Fronteras is a film we need now more than ever.


Both films celebrate the long and rich camaraderie of the people who populate the border between Mexico and U.S.

San Jose Mercury News

What’s great is that the films illuminate a culture that is rich, vibrant — and American.

G. Allen Johnson, San Francisco Chronicle

Remains one of the purest documentations of Chicano life here in the U.S.

Mexican Music Then And Now Felix Contreras, NPR

It’s now also an urgent reminder to Latinos nationwide that the traditions of our past can never be erased, appropriated or walled off without a fight.

Kiko Martinez, Remezcla

Priceless records of life on the border

Jon Auman, Screen Slate

Vividly demonstrate the organic flow between music and culture

Clinton Krute, Film Comment

Reminds one of a time when it was possible to think of the Mexican border without wanting to punch many of your fellow Americans in the face.

Indispensable, then and now John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter