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Belcourt - Nashville's Nonprofit Cinema

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Part of Music City Mondays.

Mon, Aug 19, 7:20pm: Post-screening discussion with accordionist and Hohner brand manager Gilbert Reyes, whose family was featured in the film, and brief musical performance from Cactus Fire, featuring Reyes (accordion, vocals), Rock Clouser (bajo quinto) and Jesse Hankes (upright bass). BUY TICKETS

Two restored documentaries from the incomparable Les Blank pay tribute to 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.

CHULAS FRONTERAS is a zesty introduction to Norteña music and culture that exists along the Texas-Mexican border. The music is a fusion of traditional Mexican harmonies, German dancehall rhythms, and a little something extra. From soulful, lively dance tunes to political work songs, música Norteña has evolved since the turn of the 20th century into a unique Mexican-American hybrid. Blank links the music’s spirit and vitality to the strong family bonds of Tejanos. The plight of migrant workers adds a sobering backbeat to this joyous film. CHULAS FRONTERAS was selected by the Library Of Congress to be added to the National Film Registry list, to be preserved in perpetuity.

The short film, Del mero corazón (Straight from the Heart), is a lyrical journey through the heart of Chicano culture as reflected in the love songs of the Tex-Mex Norteña music tradition. Featuring: Little Joe & La Familia, Leo Garza, Chavela & Brown Express, Andrés Berlanga, Ricardo Mejîa, Conjunto Tamaulîpas.

"Drawing connections between music, cooking and daily life in Blank's signature fashion, the film is warm-hearted without ignoring the troubles immigrants have always endured." —John DeFore, Hollywood Reporter 

"His work remains some of the richest, most palpable sensory experiences ever committed to celluloid - films that welcome viewers into vibrant, authentic cultural spaces and treat them like special guests." —Keith Watson, Slant Magazine

"These two documentaries...vividly demonstrate the organic flow between music and culture, presenting the songs and recordings of as a natural, integral part of the musicians lives as Mexican-Americans.” —Clinton Krute, Film Comment

The Belcourt Theatre does not provide advisories about subject matter or potential triggering content, as sensitivities vary from person to person.

Beyond the synopses, trailers and review links on our website, other sources of information about content and age-appropriateness for specific films can be found on Common Sense Media and IMDb, as well as through general internet searches.

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