Pasajero: A Journey of Time and Memory | Chicago Reader

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This charming 2004 video documentary by Ricardo Braojos chronicles a tour of Mexico made by a California-based mariachi band called Los Cenzontles. Accompanying Julian Gonzalez, a traditional mariachi violinist and instructor at the San Pablo arts center where the group is based, they travel through Jalisco, where he grew up, performing and meeting veteran players. Ironically, the purist string-driven approach Los Cenzontles takes to mariachi has largely disappeared in Mexico, where a commercial, brass-dominated style now rules. The importance of retaining one's cultural roots is driven hard here, but luckily the vibrant performance footage keeps things lively. 57 min.

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