“Beautiful Borders,” as Chulas Fronteras translates, is a zesty introduction to Norteña music and culture that exists along the Texas-Mexico border. This culture is distinct, having its own Spanish dialect, Tejeño, 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 Norteña 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 Tejeños. The plight of migrant workers adds a sobering backbeat to a generally joyous film.
San Francisco: August 26 at the Roxie Theater.